The future is now said to be a builder of 3D printed houses
3D printing could soon become the new standard in local home construction, saving builders time and money while delivering better quality, according to Black Buffalo 3D CEO Michael Woods.
“This is now real, credible technology that surpasses many traditional building methods,” Woods told Stabroek News in an interview at the International Building Expo on Friday.
New York-based Black Buffalo 3D is a key exhibitor at the ongoing International Building Expo at Guyana National Stadium in Providence. During the three-day event, he will use his commercial-grade 3D printer to build a 600-square-foot house – the first 3D-printed house to be created here.
Woods said the Black Buffalo 3D printer is designed to provide contractors with the technology and materials needed to save time and money.
“We can build a 1,000 square foot house, 9 foot high walls in about 20 to 24 hours depending on how many interior and exterior walls you have,” he explained.
Black Buffalo 3D is committed to improving construction sustainability by reducing waste and reducing the environmental impact and overall greenhouse gas emissions of concrete.
Therefore, instead of stones, Woods explained, silicon sand is used. “We use very fine grained sand…not stones…So we reduce the carbon footprint of concrete…And concrete accounts for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
In addition to the time and cost saved through 3D printing, Woods said a printed house is three times stronger than traditionally built ones. “The quality of it is three times stronger than CMU (concrete masonry unit) blocks. CMU blocks typically weigh between 2800 and 3500 pounds per square inch. We dry over 10,100 pounds per square inch,” he explained.
Additionally, the printer has more architectural capabilities. “You can do circles and you can also do sharp turns. When you have a blockage, all you can do is make a sharp turn. So you have a lot more architectural capabilities to be able to customize your home and personalize it,” Woods said.
Windows and doors are not printed and therefore the process would still require human labor.
As a result, Woods told Stabroek News, in the past two weeks about 10 to 15 Guyanese have been trained by Black Buffalo 3D.
All materials for the printer come from here, Woods also assured.
Besides the strong demand in the housing sector, Woods said Black Buffalo 3D also plans to print highways, culverts, drains and levees in the future.
According to Woods, the goal is to have a 3D printer on every construction site across the country. “It’s not if, it’s when it happens. It’s so much faster, so much stronger, so much cheaper and so much more flexibility and the ability to do design for the home,” he said.