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RE: When the cost of 3D printing decreases further, such 3D-printed houses ...

in DBuzz2 years ago

Speaking from an architectural and engineering background... but why, though?

Sure, in some environments, that kind of architecture could work, but there are also very good reasons people still build houses with straight walls of studs and sheathing. Form needs to follow function, and this kind of design is much more about art than utility.

There is also the issue of strength. Most concrete mixes used today require rebar for rigidity, and the form in this picture would also require massive internal supports until the mass cures and while the surface finish is applied. There needs to be a sound reason to go to the trouble.


There are very good reasons people still build houses with straight walls of studs and sheathing.

Are you referring mainly to its utility?

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Wood is a renewable resource.

The load calculations and stress analysis is readily available

Straight walls are easy to construct.

Voids between studs make insulation simple. A transition to structural insulated panels makes it even more effective.

Straight walls simplify doors, windows, furniture placement, decoration, and so many more practical living concerns.

Stick-built homes are relatively easy to remodel should needs change.

Obvious downsides are flammability and some aesthetic limitations.

Concrete production is energy-intensive and creates a lot of pollution. On its own, it is very dense, heavy, and not a good insulator, although there are blends that can remediate these concerns to a degree. It is not especially recyclable, and not at all renewable. When used with insulated concrete forms and rebar, it can be a very strong and useful material, but not when used as depicted in your rendering.

Concrete is an amazing material, and creative engineering can expand its usefulness. 3D printing using fused deposition is amazing technology, but it also has limitations based on its inherent nature and the material being extruded. It's a catchy buzzword, though, like "cyber tech" was 25 years ago.

Thanks @jacobtothe for sharing your wisdom! (:

It is very insightful as I have not studied Architecture before. I've learnt alot.

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