March 10, 2004

Just seen on New Scientist: A robot that can build 3-d structures with cement. An engineer at the University of Southern California, named Behrokh Khoshnevis, has been working on an invention for more than a year that could potentially revolutionize both architecture and components of the construction industry.

"The goal is to be able to completely construct a one-story, 2000-square foot home on site, in one day and without using human hands," he says.

While there is certainly more to building a house than just the walls and structures, I don't think that anyone would question that that goal would be an incredible breakthrough. Other items in the article mention that it would be possible to build new types of structures that were previously unattainable. Curved walls printable by such a machine would potentially take many pourings of concrete layers that would each require custom setup work. Where is Frank Lloyd Wright when you need him?

Also mentioned in the article, cement is an old material that is in use because of the tools that we use. This could make way for new types of materials that are custom designed for this machine and/or its successors. It could cause a revolutionary change in the way that stuff is designed, constructed and put into use.

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