3D printing houses in 20 hours. Goodbye construction trades?


A whole lot of construction jobs may be about to vaporize. 3D printing is coming to home construction. Hollow, extremely sturdy walls can be 3D printed with concrete, and the process can even do plumbing and wiring. I’ve no doubt this will become mainstream. The technology involved is amazing. Home prices will drop. Yet, eventually, millions of jobs will disappear due to 3D printing homes, just like driverless cars will replace truckers, cabbies, and delivery truck drivers.

3D printing homes could help areas devastated by natural disasters recover quicker. People in impoverished areas could get homes. There is a huge upside to this tsunami of disruptive technology. The downside of course is the jobs that will vanish. There’s no point being nostalgic, the process is irreversible.

This is what is coming.

Khoshnevis said the giant 3D printers his team is developing can build a 2,500-square-foot house in as little as 20 hours. The Contour Crafting 3D printers could even do the electrical work, plumbing, tiling, finishing work and painting.

Khoshnevis estimated that Contour Crafting will save the construction 20 percent to 25 percent in financing and 25 percent to 30 percent in materials. The biggest savings would come in labor, where Contour Crafting would save 45 percent to 55 percent by using 3D printers instead of humans. There would also be fewer CO2 emissions and less energy used.


  1. Many years ago the prediction was that we’d all have a life of ease and free time and that computers and robots would do all the work. Nobody ever asked if people would be able afford this great future, since they would no longer be needed to produce it.

    In the early year of technology, the low-tech jobs lost were replaced by high-tech jobs, but the more advanced the technology, the less that happens. And what low-tech jobs there are, got out outsourced.
    The real secret is learning to live low-tech.

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