A robot can build this $386,000 home in four months

Branch TechnologyA rendering of the Curve Appeal home.

Constructing a home by hand can be both expensive and time-consuming, especially when the home features a custom design. Some homebuilders have chosen to automate part of the construction process instead.

A new architectural startup calledBranch Technologyuses 3D-printing robots that can construct parts for homes.

The company will build a prototype ofits first home, designed by architecture firmWATG, this year in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Branch’s machines will print the walls, roof, and floor of the 1,0000-square-foot model over the span of a few months, and then a construction crew will assemble the components on-site.

The cost of the prototype — somewhere between $US300,000 and $US400,000 ($AU386,000) — will be higher than what Branch eventually hopes to offer to customers. The project’s larger goal is to push the boundaries of 3D printing in construction.

Take a look at the home, called Curve Appeal, below.


Branch Technology will complete its prototype of a home using 3D printers in late fall at Chattanooga State Community College, the director of sales, David Fuehrer, told Business Insider.

Branch Technology

In 2016, Chicago-based WATG wonBranch’s Freeform Home Design Challenge, a competition to imagine the future of 3D-printed home construction.


Curve Appeal will span 1,000 square feet, and will feature a bedroom, bathroom, and living room.

Branch Technology

From start to finish, the construction process will take three to four months.


To build it, Branch’s system will first turn WATG’s design into code that the 3D printers can read.

Branch Technology

Unlike traditional 3D printers that build layer-by-layer, Branch’s machines will create lattices, which they will then fill with thousands of pounds of liquid foam and concrete that hardens.

Branch Technology

Inside Branch’s 40,000-square-foot facility, four bots will create the panels that will eventually be fastened together.

Branch Technology

Fuehrer said Branch’s method will make homes that are three to four times stronger than typical wood construction.

Branch Technology

The construction process will also produce less waste than traditional homebuilding, because the machines will print only the necessary parts, he said.

Branch Technology

The home’s parts will then be shipped on-site, and in under three weeks, a construction crew will assemble the structure. Lastly, the team will add finishing touches, like plumbing and appliances.

Branch Technology

Branch estimates that the prototype will cost $US300 to $US400 per square foot to build, but plans to get that price down before it starts selling homes.

Branch Technology

According toFuehrer, this figure is still lower than what it would cost to fabricate the same home by hand, which he estimates would cost anywhere from $US800 to $US1,400 per square foot because it would require skilled laborers.


Once complete, Branch will gift the home to the college, which will use it for classes.

Branch Technology

The company believes that 3D printing represents the future of housing construction, because the process is extremely efficient.

Branch Technology

Fuehrer added that 3D printers could be especially useful for building extraterrestrial colonies. In 2017, NASA awarded Branch Technology $US85,930 to develop methods for constructing habitats on Mars.

Branch Technology

On Earth, the team eventually plans to start selling custom homes and commercial buildings, but it does not have an exact timeline yet.

Branch Technology

“We want to push the envelope of what’s possible with 3D printing,” Fuehrer said.

Branch Technology

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.