Are 3D printed homes the way of the future?
October 17, 2021 6:00 A.M.
A team of researchers plans to build the first 3D printed homes in Canada in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex.
Civil engineering professor Dr Sreekanta Das, graduate engineering students and lab technicians will 3D print concrete segments on a large-scale industrial printer. They will test the strength, durability and durability of the segments before they are used for residential purposes.
They hope to have four houses built by April 1, 2022.
“Habitat for Humanity believes that everyone has the right to live in a safe, decent and affordable place to live,” said Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex CEO Fiona Coughlin.
It takes as little as three people to 3D print a house. The construction is much faster and the cost is much lower. Once finalized, construction could take a few days. Das said it is also more environmentally friendly as greenhouse gas emissions are much lower than those generated by the traditional construction industry.
“Traditional concrete construction requires more materials,” he said. “The panels, usually made of wood, are used to create enclosures in which concrete is poured to form a mold. With 3D printing, the need for panels is eliminated, which ultimately makes construction much cheaper and faster.
Currently, Canada’s building codes are not written with 3D printing technologies in mind. One of the goals is to meet residential building code requirements and set a precedent for future home construction across Canada.