Tom James @ 29-08-2008

substrate_printDevotees of rapid prototyping technologies like the RepRap Project will be pleased to hear that construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is funding research into scaling the technology up so that it can be used to produce concrete structures:

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.

I suppose that rapid prototyping technologies are going to be a change of web/Internet/genetic engineering proportions over the next couple of decades, affecting everything and leading to unpredictable social changes.

[story on Physorg][image from jared on flickr]

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2 Responses to “Print-a-house”

  1. Nelson says:

    Congratulations! You’ve predicted unpredictability 😉 Now how can we test your unpredictability thesis?

    Actually I’m pretty excited about rapid prototyping too, I intend to get a RepRap as soon as they are commercially available, so don’t mind my mocking.

  2. gmoke says:

    Saw Khoshnevis present his ideas at MIT a few years ago. Very impressive. He thinks his machines will be able to build a house in 24 hours using quick dry concretes and cements and a tool that is essentially an extruder and a shaping blade. His process is very well thought out.