Earlier this year Adidas introduced its Futurecraft 4D shoe, the first release of shoes made with 3D-printers. While consumers might ooh and aah over the idea of truly custom built shoes, Adidas stands to benefit more from a supply chain where shoes are manufactured anywhere in the world at fractions of current costs.
Digitally Printed Homes
Housing, along with other manufacturing industries, are now utilizing this technology. Earlier this year all the exterior and interior walls of a 4 bedroom home outside Paris were digitally printed in just 54 hours. The developer is currently working on a project of 18 additional homes. Within 5 years he believes the technology will reduce the cost of construction by 25% and as much as 40% in 10 to 15 years.
To learn more about these homes, and watch a video of the construction, check out the BBC article “The World’s First Family to live in a 3D-printed Home.”
3D-Printed on Site
Stateside projects are also in the works. In Austin, Texas, the manufacturer, ICON, built a prototype 3D-printed home in March. ICON claims its 600-800 square foot homes can be printed in under 24 hours for less than $4,000. ICON can transport its 3D-printer, Vulcan, to the building site on a trailer truck. Vulcan can then print a predesigned home, layer by layer, in concrete in 24 hours. ICON has partnered with a nonprofit, New Story, on a project to build large-scale affordable housing in Latin America and the Caribbean.