When you do it yourself, building a tiny house of around 400-square-feet typically takes a couple months (depending on the design) and costs tens of thousands of dollars in materials.
A San Francisco-based housing startup called Apis Cor says it can do the same job much faster and for a lower price. It recently built its first home near Moscow in just one day with $10,134 worth of materials.
The secret? A 3D-printing robot.
Working with Russian home-building company PIK Group, the house was constructed at Apis Cor’s test facility in Stupino, a town south of central Moscow.
Before the construction, Apis Cor programmed the 3D printer to construct a rounded house. The machine applied cement layer-by-layer to form the shape of the house.
The bot left a small gap between the interior and exterior of the walls, where the team then placed fibreglass reinforcements and sprayed a polyurethane-based mixture for insulation.
The team then installed the house’s windows and finishes (like countertops and cabinets), and painted it bright yellow. The workers and the 3D printer finished the job in approximately 24 hours.
Here’s what the house looks like from above:
Measuring 409 square feet, the home features an open layout. Thanks to a shallow divider, the kitchen is semi-separated from the living area (which could double as a bedroom with a pull-out couch). There’s also a small bathroom in one of the alcoves.
The company says building homes with the bot is more efficient and less expensive than relying on humans. When the costs for the home’s materials — like the foundation, walls, insulation, finishings, and wiring — are added up, it comes to just over $US10,000. A square house that’s the same size and made using the same materials would cost even less — approximately $US8,870, according to Apis Cor.
“The house can be of any shape, including the familiar square shape, because the additive technology has no restrictions on design of new buildings, except for the laws of physics. It means it’s time to talk about the new fantastic potential of architectural solutions,” the Apis site reads.
Check out the video below, which shows the construction process: