Using cellular fabrication technology and 3-D printing, Tennessee construction company Branch Technology has plans to build the world’s very first house during 2019.
Branch Technology has been a leader in 3-D printing on a large scale. At their Chattanooga headquarters, they’ve built a giant armature that can handle big projects like drone landing pads and larger structures. Recently, the company won an award by creating an amazing 3-D printed Pavilion. The structure is made of carbon fiber and reinforced with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. It stands 20 feet tall and is 42 feet wide.
The pavilion has drawn quite a bit of acclaim along with creating wider interest in 3-D printing for large structures. In fact, a company in Austin, Texas is now selling plans for 3-D printed homes. Though it was once just a novelty, it has now become the next big advancement in the field of construction.
All New Designs Being Created in 3-D Printing
There’s a concrete bridge in Shanghai that was completed using this technology and a stainless steel bridge in the Netherlands. As this industry has grown, all new types of projects have been imagined.
Branch holds a Freeform Home Design Challenge each year where they invite people to submit proposals for unusual structures that can be built using cellular fabrication technology (C-FAB). The winner in the 2016 competition was a design by Architectural firm Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo called Curve Appeal. The design is beautiful but practical and uses free-flowing curves to create a lovely but useful home. The entire front of the home uses glass and Plexiglas so that it is open to the outdoors.
The structure will be made of 100 pieces of printed carbon-fiber-reinforced ABS thermoplastic. Concrete and spray foam will also be added to increase structural integrity and energy efficiency.
It’s Used at NASA
As Branch Technology and other firms experiment with 3-D printing, architects are pushing the boundaries of traditional construction processes. In addition to bridges, homes, and drone landing pads, this technology has been used to build furniture. One of the more unique projects has been created for NASA. In NASA’s 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge, one firm from California won the contest by creating an incredible 3-printed habitat for use on Mars.
Industry experts are excited about the future of 3-D printing applications for the world of construction. This technology is usually much more cost efficient and it takes far less time to build things. A small home that might take two months to build using traditional methods can be 3-D printed in about 10 days.