Meet the Recyclable, 3D-Printed Home

Science
Speaker 1: This home was 3D printed out of 100% bio-based materials and can be recycled at the end of its life. It's called the Bio Home 3d. Both the materials and the construction process were developed by researchers from the University of Maine. The result is this 600 square foot prototype located on a foundation near the university's advanced structures and composite Center. The floors, walls, and roof are all made using [00:00:30] the world's largest polymer 3D printer, which produced the world's largest 3D printed boat back in 2019. We've covered a lot of 3D printed and pre-fabricated housing solutions here on what the future, many of which use concrete based printing materials, and one of which used a synthetic stone material. Bio Home 3D is the first I've seen to use a bio-based material, and that's partly because Maine is a place rich in forest. Proponents of this technology say [00:01:00] it's an opportunity to address multiple problems at once, the affordable housing crisis, supply chain issues, causing headaches for the construction industry, and a boost to Maine's Forest product industry. Speaker 1: In addition to that, developers of this technology say that if sustainable wood fiber materials are used in making this bio-based printing material, the growing trees that are the raw material could be considered a carbon storage and sequestration mechanism. As you can see, bio Home 3D has the same stacked [00:01:30] design seen in the walls of many 3D printed buildings, but it looks like they've made an effort to incorporate it into the overall design aesthetic of the unit. The Prototype Bio Home 3D was printed offsite in four modules, transported, and then put together on site in just half a day. Unlike some other 3D printed homes we've seen, it doesn't require any wood reinforcement beams. This prototype will be monitored through the upcoming winter measuring [00:02:00] temperature, environmental and structural performance, providing data that will be used to inform future designs. Details are scarce on what the recycling process looks like once one of these Bio Home 3D units reaches the end of its lifecycle and on exactly how the 3D printing bio-based material is processed. Speaker 1: 3D printing is an expanding category in the construction industry that opens up all kinds of new possibilities. There's already been advancements in multi-story home building [00:02:30] and even prototypes for off world housing like those produced by Icon. Some 3D printed housing companies built their systems to print offsite in a controlled environment to then be transported and installed later. While other companies have developed the capability to bring their printer directly to the build site and print the unit there, there seems to be an interesting diversity of strategies, technologies, and applications developing in the space. We hope to dive deeper into this technology in future episodes [00:03:00] and let you know what we find. Subscribe down below if you don't want to miss it. As always, thanks so much for watching. See you next time with the fan.

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