We here at Maysteel will always be in the metal manufacturing business, but we are closely watching what is happening in the world of 3-D printing in the additive manufacturing world.
One of the largest efforts in additive manufacturing is the creation of housing for the homeless or people who have lost homes due to natural disasters. At the University of California’s Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, professors and engineering students are learning to create shelters – literally print new homes that can be easily erected and are safe for the people who will live in them.
How would this work? The director of the center, who is also hoping to start a new business, uses an automated robot and a computer-assisted design. The robot applies quick-drying concrete to create the new frame for the home. The robot even leaves spaces in walls for ductwork, plumbing and electric wiring for the home.
The shell can be created in about 20 hours and the largest frame built was 2,500 square feet! It’s a revolutionary approach to that could change the way homebuilders make your next home and could change how office and retail space is created. A company in Chicago is already looking at 3-D printed office spaces.
An added bonus with 3-D printing is the use of fewer resources. The computer-assisted design is already formatted with precise measurements and the robot creating the design can only follow directions. Therefore, it’s only using as much concrete as the design allows. In a time of watching limited resources, this is going to come in handy worldwide.
One of the more important aspects of this growth in 3-D printing is jobs. Additive manufacturing has the potential to create thousands of jobs. As our country looks to reinvest in manufacturing, this will also reinvest in the people who are needed to help build these projects.
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