San Francisco-based start-up Apis Cor recently announced that, in conjunction with PIK Group (a developer of large-scale public housing projects in Moscow), it used mobile 3-D printing technology to build a tiny house (400 square feet) in Stupino, Russia in just 24 hours.
Apis Cor demonstrated its mobile 3-D printing technology by building this house in 24 hours. (YouTube)
The project had been announced in December in the Apis Cor test facility, also located in Stupino. According to the website, “Printing of self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were done in less than a day: pure machine time of printing amounted to 24 hours.”
Using additive manufacturing techniques allowed the building designers to shape it in any form that they wanted and could potentially stretch the boundaries of architectural parameters. The house was also built during the coldest part of the year to test the technique’s capability in cold weather.
“Winter has added complexity to the project participants, as the use of concrete mixture, which is used as the printing ‘ink’, is only possible at temperatures above 5° C,” said Apis Cor. “Although the equipment itself is able to operate in temperatures down to minus 35° C. The problem was solved by setting up a tent which provided the required temperature.”
The Apis Cor mobile 3-D printer includes an automatic mix and supply unit and looks like a crane, which allows the printer to construct the building from both the inside and the outside. The roof of the igloo-shaped building was flat. TechnoNICOL, which installed the roof, used polymer membranes that can withstand heavy snow loads and the process can be completed in any weather conditions.
The house, which was painted the company’s standard yellow, includes a bathroom, a living room, and a compact kitchen. The total cost of the project was around $10,134 with windows and doors being the most expensive components.
An article about the house by Quartz explained that the printer layers concrete mixture that can last for as many as 175 years. The article also explained that it is not clear whether the entire building was built in 24 hours, including windows, doors, roof, etc., or if was just the walls and floor that were printed.
The article continued, “These houses could be used to help quickly re-house those affected by natural disasters, the company said. They might also be of use in its home town, where an influx of technology workers in recent years has created housing shortage crisis for the city.”
Watch the house being printed in the video below: