Caterpillar Inc. Funds Viterbi 'Print-a-House' Contour Crafting Technology. Caterpillar, the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment, is starting to support research on the "Contour Crafting" automated construction system that its creator believes will one day be able to build full-scale houses in hours. This is concrete-jet instead of inkjet printing technology. Printing buildings to speed up the economy is one of the key technologies for this sites concept of a mundane technological singularity The current state of the art is printing concrete walls. Printing buildings is a key part of new manufacturing and construction revolution.
Contour Crafting is an effort to scale up rapid prototyping/manufacturing (a billion dollar industry to make 3 dimensional parts) and inkjet printing techniques to the scale of building multi-story buildings and vehicles. The process could accelerate the trillion dollar (US only) construction industry by 200 times. Layers of a wall are printed. 3D printing: the technology that could re-shape the world. Annenberg Foundation | News | Annenberg Foundation Puts Robotic Disaster Rebuilding Technology on Fast Track. Viterbi School of Engineering - Caterpillar Inc. Funds Viterbi 'Print-a-House' Construction Technology.
Eric Mankin August 28, 2008 — Caterpillar, the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment, is starting to support research on the "Contour Crafting" automated construction system that its creator believes will one day be able to build full-scale houses in hours. Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, says the system is a scale-up of the rapid prototyping machines now widely used in industry to "print out" three-dimensional objects designed with CAD/CAM software, usually by building up successive layers of plastic. "Instead of plastic, Contour Crafting will use concrete," said Khoshnevis; actually, it's a special concrete formulation provided by USG, the multi-national construction materials company that has been contributing to Khoshnevis' research for some years as a member of an industry coalition backing the USC Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT), home of the initiative.
3-D Printer Creates Entire Buildings From Solid Rock. Imagine a 3-d printer so large that it can spit out entire buildings made from stone. Sounds science fiction-y, right? But that’s exactly what designer Enrico Dini created with his prototype D-Shape printer. Dini hopes to use the printer to create buildings made of stone and eventually, moon dust. The printing process starts with a thin layer of sand. The printer then sprays the sand with magnesium-based glue from hundreds of nozzles, which binds the sand into rock. That rock is then built up layer by layer, eventually taking shape of whatever object it is destined to become, be it a curvy sculpture or an entire cathedral. We’re not sure that anyone will really bring D-Shape to the moon, but it is totally amazing to think about the implications a printer like this could have on construction here on Earth.
Via Fast Company. Home, Sweet Home. Backed by a German materials company, a USC engineer intends to build a 2,000-square-foot house in 24 hours. The automated process, which can build full-scale walls, may be tested next year. Behrokh Khoshnevis has been developing his automated house-building process, called “Contour Crafting,” for more than a year. Photo/Eric Mankin Degussa AG, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of construction materials, will collaborate in the development of a USC computer-controlled system designed to automatically “print out” full-size houses in hours. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Behrokh Khoshnevis of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute has been developing his automated house-building process, called “Contour Crafting,” for more than a year.
Khoshnevis believes his system will be able to construct a full-size, 2,000- square-foot house with utilities embedded in 24 hours. Blueprint Magazine - Architecture & Design.