I have seen many alternatives to traditional stick-built housing construction over the decades. None have done much. Maybe this one will?
Portland Press-Herald reports that the University of Maine is working on 3-D printing homes using wood fiber/ (Story is here)
Home to the world’s largest polymer 3D printer, the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center is developing robotic and artificial intelligence technology to automate construction.
The center, which has received $30 million in federal funding and $15 million in state funding, (uses) Maine wood residuals – which could be scrap lumber, sawdust, construction debris – in the 3D printing process, sidestepping the increased costs of traditional construction materials caused by supply chain disruptions.
The wood materials are converted into wood flour – fine, powdery sawdust – that is bound together by biopolymers, which could be made from corn. The mixture is formed into pellets, which are then melted and extruded by the 3D printer at a controlled temperature. Evan Gilman, chief operations engineer at the ASCC, said it’s “like a hot glue gun,” squirting out the material into a desired shape.
I could see that half of new 2nd homes could be printed like this as modular. Wanna 7-room log cabin? Snap a picture of your lakefront lot, upload the 3-D file to make sure it fits right. Ready for assembly in less than a month. Just add a Megapack battery behind the house and you’re all set. I have seen Dr. Dagher’s printing giant performing a bridge build up, fascinating process. Very useful industrial printer.