A revolutionary way to build homes is coming to Virginia that could be a potential solution to constructing more affordable houses.
You might have heard of a 3D printer making small, plastic items for doll furniture and models, but 3D printers can also make life-size projects including a 1,550-square-foot home planned for South Richmond.
The three-bedroom, two-bath home at 217 Carnation St., just off of Midlothian Turnpike, will be the first house in Virginia partially constructed using a 3D printer rather than lumber. Work begins this week and is slated to be completed in the fall.
Building exterior walls of the home using a giant printer is different than traditional construction, but it is easier to understand than you might think, said Andrew McCoy, director of the Virginia Center of Housing Research at Virginia Tech, one of the partners in the project to build the home.
“It’s really like we’re building a layer cake,” McCoy said of the process to construct the walls using a 3D printing system that places concrete atop of one another.
“It’s layer upon layer, and just like a layer cake you have to worry about the consistency of each level,” he said. “You have to worry about how you are going to finish it. You have to worry about making sure that there’s all the ingredients, but baking is the critical part.”