3D printing entire buildings

Categories: technology, environment

What? 3D-printing robots, called mini-builders, have succeeded in building structures many times larger than themselves. The robots, about the size of a home desktop 3D printer, are being prototyped at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, in Barcelona, Spain.

So what? The creation of these buildings challenges the assumption that a large structure requires a similarly large 3D printer, removing a perceived barrier to the use of 3D-printing robots for building construction. In the future, an entire building might be built using this technology, possibly in less time and with lower cost and environmental impact than with present construction methods. If the technology is widely used, 3D-printing robots could significantly displace human labour in the construction industry. 


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