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Printed Concrete House

Printed Concrete House

RE: Printed Concrete House

That was exactly my initial thought. Normally this kind of stuff is developed at some university by some pie-in-the-sky dreamer. I just don't see the practical application of this technology in the construction industry.

RE: Printed Concrete House

I remember reading ages ago that one of the problems with "alternative houses" in general was that much of the cost is in the foundation, the plumbing, the electrical, etc. In this case, it looks like all they'd do is replace wood framing with unreinforced masonry, which would then need to be insulated, sheathed, etc.

RE: Printed Concrete House

I thought rebar was just going to be another color, like we have our our 3D printer; we can get yellow, white, black, and blue.

Cute, but

>> if the coastal population densities are going to double, SFHs aren't really going to hack it.
>> who wants to live in a concrete house?
>> how are the wiring, plumbing etc. going to happen? This is typical done as part of the framing. Without that step, you'd have to drill through concrete to get wiring and plumbing, and drilling through concrete is non-trivial
>> a more pressing issue is how am I going to hang my pictures on a concrete wall?

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RE: Printed Concrete House

Most of the time they would fir out the walls, and put drywall. I dont think I have every seen a concrete walled house that is exposed, unless its the basement or the arch wants it.

RE: Printed Concrete House

On the plumbing and wiring, one of the cool aspects of the 3-D printing is that you could leave grooves and channels in the walls to put all that in. But, the catch is that it's still got to be put in, and lot of decorative work done over it.

RE: Printed Concrete House

On the plumbing and wiring, one of the cool aspects of the 3-D printing is that you could leave grooves and channels in the walls to put all that in. But, the catch is that it's still got to be put in, and lot of decorative work done over it.

RE: Printed Concrete House

(OP)
I live in a concrete house with exposed concrete on the inside. It is made of pre-cast Thermomass panels - 2" concrete on the outside, 2" blueboard and 4" concrete on the inside. No plumbing in the walls but electrical conduit and boxes are cast into it at the factory. It was pretty economical as we did not have to install sheetrock, siding insulation or paint. Just took alot of upfront planning on the electrical.
We hang pictures by drilling an 1/8" slanted hole and sticking a nail in it.

RE: Printed Concrete House

I live in a 'CBS' house. The walls are concrete block. The outside is faced with stucco, directly adhered to the block. The inside faces of the exterior walls are similar, faced with plaster. The drain plumbing is below the slab. The water and gas plumbing go through the exterior walls at the supply shutoff, and are otherwise routed through the interior walls and/or the roof trusses, all made of wood and faced with drywall.

I don't see reinforcement of a printed concrete house as a particularly big challenge. One could add fibers to the mix before deposition. Or, in the interest of saving material (and maybe providing a small amount of insulation), one could print the walls with open cells, just like concrete block. One could also print it with small round open cells from top to bottom, and just fill those with grout and drop in a rebar. It should also be possible to print a shaped horizontal groove in the wall as it goes up, pause briefly, and lay in the sort of reinforcements sometimes used between courses of block. One laborer with no great skill required.

If the wall goes up more or less continuously in a spiral manner, you wouldn't get 'day joints', though you might get 'hour joints'. I don't know if that's a problem or not.

I wouldn't even rule out the possibility of printing a sloped roof and concrete trusses to support it, but I'd suspect that might have to go slowly, or require temporary shoring.

Speaking of slowly, that's the problem. I'd bet a good block-laying crew could get a typical wall up faster than a printer, so the technology has to be sold on reducing skilled labor content, or some other virtue that is not immediately apparent to me.

Preparing a foundation and rails just for the printer is probably not going to fly. A successful printer will probably have to be mounted on a truck, look like a concrete pumping snorkel, 'touch off' the corners of a slab to establish its starting plane like a CMM or robot does, and then 'just print' from a program without further assistance.



Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Printed Concrete House

I agree with Mike, you could get it to work, maybe not at commercialization stage yet but in the future maybe. I think I find most interesting is the comments in the attached article.

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

RE: Printed Concrete House

I'm not finding an article on that site.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Printed Concrete House

sorry mike i ment in the orginal op attached site link.

my apologies

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

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