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Printing my new home

3D printing is becoming more flexible in terms of materials used to print and size. At the same time its cost keeps going down and these factors fuel applications.
3D printing a house is nothing particularly new. First experiments occurred in the last decade (starting with the printing of foundations, then moving on to the printing of walls…). In the last few years we have seen the industrialisation of house printing, particularly in China and India.
Houses are now being printed in different shapes (no longer looking like shoe boxes) and architects are starting to exploit 3D printing to create new shapes that would be difficult, and costly, to create with classic construction methods.
Most recently Apis Cor (see clip) has printed a full house, foundation to roof, exterior and interior, in just 24 hour at a cost of about 10,000$ (a small house, but still at a price of a small car).
Low cost and high speed are the differentiators that can push adoption of houses 3D printing at a large scale. Think about response to emergencies like an earthquake. In a few weeks brand new villages could be constructed.
Interestingly, engineers and architects are now starting to consider 3D printing houses as a way to create high tech structures, using smart materials and embedded with IoT. 
In the next decade my bet is that this technology, that NASA is considering as the one to create base stations on the Moon and Mars, will become widely used, replacing today’s construction techniques. The possibility to customise constructions will likely stimulate do-it-yourself design applications and there will be a flourishing market for co-design and exchange of projects and ideas. We are likely to see new professions arising as today’s builders will feel the heat of competition from unexpected quarters.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. He's currently Head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital, co-chair of the Symbiotic Autonomous Systems Initiative of IEEE-FDC. Until Aprile 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books. He writes a daily blog,  http://sites.ieee.org/futuredirections/category/blog/, with commentary on innovation in various technology and market areas.