Robot cues CAD to build house in a day
May 5 2018
A California experiment has led to developing a robot that can read an architect’s computer aided design (CAD) drawings and build a full-sized concrete house using 3D printing technology in one day.
Behrokh Khoshnevis, a University of Southern California professor of industrial and systems engineering, said the robot can build a complete house in a single day, with little assistance from human builders.
Khoshnevis sees early adoption for his Contour Crafting (CC) robots in building fast, low-cost inner city and infill housing, rather than traditional mass-produced homes.
“Robots of this kind could potentially dramatically reduce the time and money needed to build quality homes, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC conduits,” said Robert Federowicz, CEO of Quantum International Corp., a publicly-traded robotics innovation company.
“These machines can theoretically work around the clock, needing only a constant supply of power and semi-liquid concrete,” Federowicz said.
The CC robot, a computer-controlled crane or gantry, which looks like scaffolding with nozzles, loads up on semi-liquid concrete and extrudes it in layers as surfaces, wall structures and domed roofs, building the home from the ground up.
In addition to the potential for architectural creativity the potential savings in materials and labour make CC attractive, Khoshnevis reports in his book Houses Of The Future – Construction By Contour Crafting Building Houses For Everyone.
Building speed reduces financing costs, and the process reportedly leaves zero waste while replacing muscle power with brain power because women and older workers can find job opportunities in CC construction, according to Khoshnevis.