Are 3D printers just for making little toys a knick-knacks? Not if USC researchers have anything to say about it. They believe it is possible to construct a monstrous mechanical machine that uses 3D printing technology to create a house. Yes, seriously.
The process, called Contour Crafting, would entail placing the giant machine so that it hangs over the space where you want the house to be built.
Then, using what is effectively the same kind of technology that is currently used to create tiny model cars or comic book character figurines, the contraption would be able to construct a shell of a house.
That is, it would create the entire building with everything from walls to floors to the ceiling, and even plumbing and elecrical wiring.
The only part that would need to be installed manually would be windows and doors, but the cutouts for all of these would already exist.
Project lead Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis says the most immediate use for this kind of technology would be to improve living conditions in slums and areas that are affected by extreme weather, but the possibility exists for more luxurious designs in the future.
And get this - the entire process from start to finish could take less than 24 hours. Imagine a future where you go online to buy a house, design it yourself, and have it built and ready to live in within a few days. That's where this is headed.