University of Maine reveals first 100% bio-based 3D printed home
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
This next story takes us to Maine, where a very old building material is getting a new application.
A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:
The old material is wood. The new application is 3D printing. Researchers say they learned how to make a 3D-printed house out of bits of wood.
INSKEEP: 3D-printed homes are seen as a source of cheap housing. A single giant machine assembles a house layer by layer, normally out of concrete. Habib Dagher, of the university's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, says Maine's forest products industry can provide a different material.
HABIB DAGHER: There is roughly 1 million tons per year of material in our sawmills that could be used. And to print the home, we need about 10 tons.
INSKEEP: Yeah, they're using, like, waste material. This wood house is fully recyclable.
DAGHER: Two-hundred years from now, our grandchildren don't want the house anymore. We can grind it up, put it back into the printer and print something else with it.
MARTÍNEZ: Dagher says the printing process is faster than building a conventional home.
DAGHER: Our goal here is when we scale up the process, is to be able to print a home every 48 hours.
INSKEEP: And right now, they're putting their product to a test.
DAGHER: The house that we have outside right now is going to go through a good old Maine winter.
MARTÍNEZ: Some people in Maine would like to help.
DAGHER: We've had a lot of people already ask to sleep in it for the night. We've had people suggest that we Airbnb it.
INSKEEP: (Laughter) Airbnb. Researchers hope this technology could reduce homebuilding costs in the future.
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