Researchers at the University of Southern California could completely revolutionise construction with technology aimed at being able to build a custom designed house within 24 hours and without the use of human hands.
Taking ideas from the ‘rapid prototyping’ industry that uses lasers and liquid plastics to make products from engineering drawings, the project is set to do the same but on a grand scale. Called “Contour Crafting”, the process builds shapes in layers by controlling the flow of liquid building materials with two movable trowel-like tools around a nozzle. The liquid materials can include plaster, concrete, adobe, plastic or even wood particles mixed with epoxy into a paste.
With the system mounted on moveable robots or an overhead gantry, the researchers believe they will be able to overcome current size limitations and fully construct a house some time next year.