The end of the builder? The giant 3D printer than could create a HOUSE in 24 hours

Scaled up 3D printing technology could be  used to build a house in under 24 hours, according to an  engineer from the University of Southern California.

Contour Crafting is a layered  fabrication  technology that uses a huge moveable gantry to build a house in  the same way  that a 3D printer deposits layers of plastic.

Professor Behrokh  Khoshnevis claims that his Contour Crafting construction method can build entire houses with all the fixtures and  fittings.

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Concrete is deposited in layers through a nozzle Concrete is deposited in layers through a nozzle that  moves around the building site with the help of a gantry

Those behind Contour Crafting believe it could be used to develop entire neighbourhoodsThose behind Contour Crafting believe it could be used  to develop entire neighbourhoods

Strong walls are built up layer by layer  using concrete with automatic reinforcement, while plumbing and electrics are  also added by the system during the building process.

The nature of the technology means it will  also be possible to create curved walls and architecture that is both ‘exotic’  and ‘beautiful’, according to Khoshnevis.

Khoshnevis says current construction methods  are slow, labour intensive and costly.

He believes that Contour Crafting could build  houses for a fraction of the cost and in significantly less time.

Khoshnevis says that a 2500-square-foot house  can be built in approximately 20 hours with Contour Crafting.

MakerBot costs around £600 and uses reels of plastic to print objectsContour Crafting is a scaled up version of 3D printing.  MakerBot (above) is a 3D printer that costs around £600 and uses reels of  plastic to print objects

A 3D printed sculpture made by Michael Eden Printed 3D sculptures such as this are becoming  increasingly popular as the technology is commercialised

As a result, it could be ideal for emergency  housing, commercial or low-income structures.

However, it could also be used to print out  customised luxury homes, according to Khoshnevis.

Furthermore, he believes that the technology  could be applied beyond our planet.

‘Contour Crafting technology has the  potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures,  habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human  beings,’ his website reads.

The technology has been developed over several  years and was presented at the TEDx conference in February.

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