Robot helps 3D print a home for less than $6,000 in materials

SQ4D construction 3D printing

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – SQ4D Inc., announced today that its robotic construction system has built the largest permitted 3D-printed home in the world, using less than $6,000 in materials.

The Patchogue, N.Y.-based company’s Autonomous Robotic Construction System (ARCS) constructed a 1,900-square-foot home, taking 48 hours of print time over an eight-day period, the company said. It added that due to ARCS enhancements implemented post-construction, future print times are expected to be cut in half.

A robot used 3D printing technology to build a 1,900-square-foot home. Image: SQ4D

The ARCS platform robotically builds foundations, exterior walls, interior walls, utility conduits, and more, SQ4D said. The company said the digitally driven system can reduce labor to as little as three people – labor costs accounting for up to 41% of the total construction cost of a home. The system’s low-power consumption technology also allows homes and buildings to be built using less energy than traditional construction methods, creating an environmentally friendly impact, the company added.

The ARCS platform was able to 3D print a home using less than $6,000 in materials Image: SQ4D

The robotic platform eliminates and consolidates more than 20 manual labor intensive processes, which include siding, framing, and sheathing. “This revolutionary technology will be replacing and eliminating more expensive and inferior building materials, causing the printed structures to be stronger and safer,” the company said in a statement. “Utilizing concrete will reduce the cost by at least 30%, as well as making the structure more fire resistant than traditional methods. This home will have the strength to last into the next century.”

3D-printing robots are part of an overall construction robotics market that is expected to reach $190 million by 2025, according to a report by Infoholic Research. Other segments in this space include demolition robots, brick-laying robots and autonomous construction vehicles and equipment. “3D printing will revolutionize the construction industry by changing the traditional planning and development methods,” said Arjun Das, senior research analyst at Infoholic Research. “High level of scalability in 3D printing will help construction companies build custom projects and building on demand (BOD) quickly, along with eliminating the need for transporting large goods.”

Similarly, ABI Research said automation technology advances are helping to drive “the next frontier of robotics adoption” in the construction and mining segments. However, ABI said most of the growth initially in this space will be around autonomous mobile robots performing haulage tasks, rather than specific tasks such as brick-laying, painting, loading, or bulldozing.”

Additional areas where 3D printing is involved with robotics includes manufacturing of robotic parts or customized grippers, as well as medical applications.

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