Rapid Prototyping - But to 3D print a house?


A company in China made waves at the beginning of April when it announced it had 3D-printed more than ten houses in just under 27 hours. Some of these house are now being advertised by real estate agencies for a moderate fee. Would you feel safe renting or purchasing a house that was made by recycled material from other construction sites? Would you be concerned about getting your moneys worth, let alone safety implications?

Close-up shot of house being printed
The Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. built more than ten full homes out of recycled construction and industrial waste. Should we see this as a good thing in terms of the WinSung company is using construction waste to provide new homes in the city and different location in China or should we be worried that in the near future there are chance more homes and hotels possible where we work is going to be 3D printed? 3D printing allows for basically any design to be constructed at a much faster speed than normal. While it still has it's limitations in terms of materials available at it's current stage, in the future it might very well replace current construction methods. New improvements towards improving efficiency, lowering cost, and increasing the printing scale are constantly being invented.

House support being assembled - triangle trusses makes for strong floors

In the next 10 to 20 years will there be large amount of 3D homes being advertised and purchased in the real estate market. At the moment many people have concerns regarding the safety of these houses. Would you purchase a 3D printed home and why?

Material Selection & Tenders

Whilst walking into work this morning I conducted a mini material selection experiment. The roads of Zhuhai (珠海) are not paved with gold. They’re paved in a massive selection of materials. Some are easy to walk on but some are massively slippery and uneven. It got me thinking...
How can you decide what to walk on?
Looking at the images and the street view it seems plausible that there was a tender for raw material supply and everybody won.

Walking in the rain is impossible!
When selecting the best pavement to walk on, we rank the least slippery being...
Lines a plenty 
1. Paint used on bike lane
2. Bike Lane
3. Concrete
4. Bricks
5. Moulded bricks with grooves 

The rounded stones are pretty bad and the worst offender is by far the polished stone lane. This all goes to show that it is important to conduct a thorough market study before choosing materials for construction or product design. After all a pavement is a product too.
When going to tender, it is important to communicate with the issuing company or body and work with them early in the development phase on materials selection and propose and defend your selection on a wide range of measures (not in this order)....

- Cost
- Cost of production / Installation 
- Durability
- Function
- Aesthetic
- Others....

PS - Here is our Photoshop on Zhuhai (珠海) streets paved with gold as mentioned above. Want to come visit?
Follow the golden brick road to the Mindsparkz HQ

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