The Printer That Can Print A 2,500 Square Foot House In 20 Hours.

By: | June 20th, 2013

Contour Crafting Robotic Construction System - Source: www.contourcrafting.org

Contour Crafting Robotic Construction System - Source: www.contourcrafting.org

We have seen huge advancements in 3D printing. We’ve even seen oversized wrenches printed that measure 1.2 meters in length. Now, we can print an entire 2,500 sqft house in 20 hours.
In the TED Talk video below, Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC), demonstrates automated construction, using 3D printers to build an entire house in 20 hours.

In manufacturing we use a process called CAD/CAM (computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacturing). 3D models are designed on a computer and then manufactured using CNC Machines or 3D printers. The design is manufactured into a physical object automatically, with instruction from 3D computer model to physical object without human interface. Automated construction basically scales up this process. The size of the 3D printer is large enough to construct walls by depositing concrete based material layer upon layer to build a wall.

In this video, we see a prototype of a machine called ‘Contour Crafting’

Michael Cooney

Michael Cooney, the founder of EngNet, worked as a project engineer for many years sourcing equipment. His passion and experience in the industry led to creating EngNet to connect engineers and industry suppliers. You can also find Michael on .

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20 thoughts on “The Printer That Can Print A 2,500 Square Foot House In 20 Hours.

  1. Ali Akbar Attari
    June 21, 2013 at 1:54 am

    this is a good advancement of computer in CAD/CAM. hopefully this help the human to increase the speed of development.

  2. Philbert
    June 21, 2013 at 10:45 am

    The rounded corners look nice and are good to demonstrate the abilities of the printer, but in reality you wouldn’t want them. What are you going to put there?

    1. Enrique Segrera
      June 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      You could 3Dprint a nice table with the cut-out shape to fit.

      1. Pat
        June 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        You might even 3d-print the table (or shelf or whatever you like) directly into corner when printing the house. ;)

    2. joeknee
      June 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Bean bag chairs.

  3. aungkokoaye
    June 23, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I like your photos

  4. jdexter
    June 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Just a small point but the measurement of length is a METRE, a meter measures something like ohms, distance eg ohmmeter, odometer

    Thus the house is x METRES long! not meters!!

    1. Michael
      June 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Meter is the American spelling, and metre is preferred everywhere else.
      I wish their was a world standard, especially when your readers have different standards.

    2. bob
      October 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

      a printer prints ohm in 20 hours.. lol

  5. Charles Develop Ideas
    June 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

    We want a quotation of the laters 3D Printer please. We know it can use 30 deverent material type what type of material can it use. I want to manufacture tires can it,

    1. Michael
      June 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Charles, We only wrote the article on the 3D printer. Try making contact with contour crafting.

  6. Amith Gosai
    June 27, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Nice but what about the building services elements? Will the 3D model leave cavities in place for conduiting and plumbing? Dont get me wrong, I think this a brilliant step forward but theres a lot more to building a house that walls and a roof. Coming in after the model is built and chasing walls is always an issue and does comprise the structures strength.

    1. watch again
      July 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      The presenter described automated wiring, reinforcement, and plumbing.

  7. Charles Develop Ideas
    July 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I dont have they address of contour crafting

  8. Sanaullah
    July 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    very beautiful house but how it can be built in rural area in Pakistan

  9. Boots
    July 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    http://www.contourcrafting.org/ is the address for contour crafting.

    To answer the question about plumbing, the pipes/wires/sensors are all added layer by layer through the use of segment soldered pipes and plug and play electric panels. There’s a few videos on the site showing how its done.

    http://craft.usc.edu/Mission.html is another good website. There are a few of them out there, but I feel like this tech is going to be breaking out when everything is ready to go. The timeline says it should already be done, but I’ve not seen anything on the internet.

  10. October 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    He makes the argument that the world did not come to an end as a result of the automation of the farming industry, but I would have to argue that the quality of the farm product as melted consistently away with every passing year. What will happen to the quality of the building when it has been automated and the “efficiencies” put out of sight? Maybe then it will be acceptable for a home to have a lifespan of 5-years when you can order a new one the next day. The potential for a great food product available on a wide scale is a possibility now with the abilities granted the farming industry, but that is not exactly what has come to pass as efficiency and quality are inversely related in a consumerist society.

    1. October 30, 2013 at 1:52 am

      I think you’ve raised a legitimate concern, especially considering how it has become the norm to change mobile devices in less than 2 years. But with building and construction quality, there are regulations and safety standards to meet; even if consumers may find it acceptable to change house at a shorter duration.

      The potential applications of this technology in poverty-striken and/or disaster-prone regions can do a lot of good, provided that we do not ‘cut corners’.

  11. Ray
    October 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    For some reason, as soon as I saw this device, the potential use that popped into my head is sending huge robot 3D printers into nuclear disaster sites to create (or repair) containment structures.

  12. November 5, 2013 at 4:59 am

    continuously i used to read smaller articles or reviews which as well clear their motive, and that
    is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading now.

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