3D-Printed Home Can Withstand Earthquakes



While 3-D printing in the homebuilding industry has largely created prefab houses whose components are created at a factory and then assembled on location, a new technique is letting one company print the house in its entirety onsite.

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HuaShang Tengda printed an entire 4,300-square-foot home in 45 days, with walls up to 8 feet thick that are designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake.

Curbed.com reports that “construction workers prepared the site and installed the building’s frame, plumbing, and rebar supports.” With the building’s infrastructure prepared, the 3-D printer then created the structure. HuaShang Tengda’s device uses four separate systems to formulate ingredients, mix the concrete, control the transmission, and print the home.

“A specially designed split nozzle,” says Curbed, “spits out concrete simultaneously on the interior and exterior sides of the rebar support, creating a sturdy construction.” The home used about 20 tons of concrete.

The 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, at magnitude 7.9, claimed nearly 80,000 lives. HuaShang Tengda developed the technique to help make safer homes more widely available.

Source: “3D-Printed Chinese Villa Is Virtually Indestructible,” Curbed.com (July 6, 2016)

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