Called the Contour Crafting Robotic Construction System, it is a conceptual technology that uses a 3-D printing process to rapidly produce a prototype.
It is made up of robotic arms and nozzles which are controlled by a computer aided program and a framework system that moves the nozzles. It can build a range of structures, including entire homes.
The technology takes 3-D imaging to the next level, and the system is capable of producing over a 2,000 square foot house with all of the necessary components, including outlets for electricity and accommodations for plumbing and air. What gets really impressive is that it can do all of this in approximately 20 hours.
Created by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis from the University of Southern California as a project, it uses a fabrication process that is completed in a layering fashion by a large robot. It employs computer-aided design but additionally incorporates automated tools in combination with the robotic aided machinery, which makes developing a 3-dimensional full scale house possible. The finished products are reportedly durable and can be designed in various models.
Watch how the process for building an entire house works:
Other videos show how the technology operates and can produce straight and curved walls, even domed ceilings.
According to Dr. Khoshnevis, the technology has many advantages over conventionally developed buildings. Among the prospective uses are employing the equipment to construct emergency shelters and economically made and affordable housing.
Another goal is to reduce the impact of construction by addressing environmental concerns. Dr. Khoshnevis reported that a typically built single family home can cause as much as 3 to 7 tons of streaming waste. This type of manufacturing may have the ability to decrease emissions and energy usage in comparison to standard building processes. The products can be built on-site, and greatly reduces many of the dangers associated with hands-on construction projects.
The developer and researchers are looking into potential applications of the technology, which at present includes more than just revamping the construction industry. It can also be used for the fine arts and in sculptures. There are even conceptual plans for building off-earth sites, and NASA has shown an interest in Contour Crafting simulated plans for lunar infrastructures.
Contour Crafting and its potential capabilities definitely offers some interesting applications for the future of the construction industry.
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