People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. On a literal level, that makes perfect sense. But what about people who live in 3D-printed houses?
“3D-printed houses?” you ask. “What are you talking about? Is that even a thing?”
Apparently so. Some 3D-printed homes have been built to house the homeless elsewhere. One was recently listed for sale in New York, although it hadn’t even been built yet.
If you are like me, you hear that a house will be made using a 3D printer, and your mind immediately conjures up an image of a computer printer. And then, of course, you wonder how in the world a house can be made with a printer like that. Certainly, anyone who lived in THAT house shouldn’t throw stones.
I had heard of 3D printers at various times in the past few years but really couldn’t conceive of a printer creating an actual object as opposed to a printed page. With a regular printer, you give it instructions in terms of what words or pictures to print, and the printer shoots ink onto a page to complete those instructions.
With a 3D printer, you give the printer instructions in terms of what object to print, and the printer shoots out some kind of material to complete those instructions layer by layer.
The layers come out in coils. In fact, the walls of the finished houses remind me of pottery made with coils of clay.
There is great demand for these houses — not just small ones designed to solve the homeless crisis but large ones, like the one for sale in New York that will be sold for profit.
If I didn’t have a home, I’m sure I would be grateful for any house, including a 3D-printed one. But I certainly wouldn’t be rushing to buy a 3D-printed house if I had other options. I want my technology tested by other people — many, many other people — before I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon.
When we purchased a new vehicle several years ago, my objective was to get one with as few new automated-technology “gadgets,” such as lane-keeping assists and automatic parking, as possible. Those are the features that take control of the vehicle, and I still trust myself more than I trust a machine. Plus, the fewer such gadgets, the less there is to go wrong.
Vehicles, of course, won’t last forever. But they can last a long time — and I tend to think that the less technology involved, the longer that vehicle will last.
Houses, like vehicles, are extremely pricey; unlike vehicles, though, houses can last “forever” — that is, for the life of the original owner plus owners beyond. And I certainly want my house to last forever.
Can 3D-printed homes last forever?
One problem is that technology becomes outdated quickly. So, what happens when a piece of someone’s house needs to be replaced? Will the technology still exist? Or will a person need to buy a new house?
3D-printed houses are said to be just as strong, if not stronger, than regular houses. On the other hand, from what I’ve read online, they are expected to last only about 50 to 60 years. Our house has already exceeded that and is still going strong.
Even if a person were happy thinking that a house would last for only 50 or 60 years, who says that 3D-printed houses will actually last that long?
That prediction is certainly not set in stone.
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