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3D Printing

The innovation of 3D printing has led to unique art, medical devices, and even weapons. In the latest use of this technology, a large scale 3D printer can work with cement instead of plastics. It will be a long time before anyone declares that 3D printing has reached its limit.

On A Larger Scale

The Vulcan II is a large scale 3D printer designed for ruggedness. This allows it to travel to remote areas of the world. There, experts can build new homes by pouring cement according to a computer program. The Vulcan II monitors local conditions and adjusts its cement formula to accommodate the weather. These homes stand in areas of seismic activity or frequent, heavy flooding. Icon is a construction tech company. Together with New Story, a non-profit dedicated to affordable housing, they have developed quick building solutions for impoverished regions. Their efforts can replace homes made of piecemeal wood and blankets with substantial shelters. 3D printing a series of cement homes can provide dependable housing that can stand against earth tremors and severe flooding.

Helping Those In Need

New Story is in the process of perfecting 3D printed houses. A 3D neighborhood now stands in southern Mexico. The houses were designed to provide reliable shelter under extreme conditions. Local citizens had shacks made of boards tied together with rope. They now have bedrooms, a kitchen, and indoor plumbing. They can escape the weather. They can prevent the illnesses that developed in their flooded sheds. By providing shelter, New Story can offer hope and dignity to these people.

Challenges

The Mexican government rejected the first area New Story chose. Customs held the Vulcan II for months. New Story redesigned their housing plan to withstand the real-world demands of southern Mexico. The Vulcan II was retrofitted to travel to the targeted area. The rainy season interfered. Finally, the houses could be poured. Before this, the local residents who moved into the homes continually fought with the elements. They now have better opportunities to focus on improving their lives.