Is 3D printing the future of housing? It will surely be when the new startup Mighty Buildings, launched from stealth mode this week, finds its way. The company builds houses quickly using a giant 3D printer and proprietary 3D printing material that, unlike concrete, cures almost instantly thanks to a UV light curing process. This technique makes it possible to create houses with 95% fewer man hours and significantly less waste than conventional construction techniques, which could play a crucial role in the construction sector.
"With 3D printing, robot post-processing, and the ability to automate steps like casting insulation, Mighty Buildings can automate up to 80% of the construction process," said Sam Ruben, chief sustainability officer and co-founder of the company, said Digital Trends.
According to Ruben, Mighty Buildings will be producing fully printed structures for customers within a year. These units are initially created using a hybrid approach consisting partly of 3D printing and partly of traditional construction. However, once the "understandably conservative nature of construction officials" is overcome with some decent demonstrations, the startup will begin rolling out fully printed units, according to Ruben.
As a current demo, a 350 square meter studio unit was printed in less than 24 hours. The company has also installed its first two “additional homes” in San Ramon, California and San Diego. Further units are currently waiting for delivery. Unit prices start at $ 115,000 for a Mighty Studio and rise to $ 285,000 for a three bedroom, two bath Mighty House. It's not exactly dirt cheap, but certainly cheaper than a traditional stationary building. Plus, there are all the boastful rights to let your friends know that you've printed your new home for you.
“Compared to typical prefabricated house designs, one of the biggest differentiators of our system is the ability to quickly and easily adapt designs without having to start a whole new factory line,” said Ruben. "If so much of the structure can be printed in 3D and if a large part of the post-processing can be carried out under robot control, many possibilities are unlocked that would require very individual workflows using conventional finishing methods."
This is not the first time that Digital Trends has covered 3D printed homes or other structures worth living in. In most cases, however, it was a proof of concept rather than a commercial offer. Ruben said the team plans “to open our manufacturing platform to some forward-thinking builders, architects and property developers in 2021. Looking ahead to 2021, we also plan to build joint venture partnerships to scale pre-built Mighty Factory hubs all over the world. "