The House Printer
There is a guy called Behrokh Khoshnevis, an USC engineer, who is trying to build a giant contour crafter, a device that should be able to build houses in twenty four hours and without the need of human labor.
Imagine in the near future when you will head to an architect, instruct him about your preferences, draw the house on a CAD (Computer Aided Design) application and then he will ask: “that is a beautiful house, lets print it?”
The contour crafter, in fact, works similarly to traditional printers. It receives information from a computer and then a robot squirts layers of semi-liquid construction material to build up vertical walls and domed roofs.
Now, if you are already thinking “that is a heck of a creative (crazy?) guy”, you have not seen the whole deal. Khoshvenis is also planning to use his giant printer to proceed with the colonization of the moon!
Check out a quote from him: “We plan to explore the applicability of the Contour Craft technology for building habitats on the Moon and Mars (…) The lunar regolith, for example, may be used as the construction material. Other researchers have shown that lunar regolith can be sintered using microwave to produce construction materials such as bricks. We envision a Contour Crafting system that uses a limited amount of water to form a small batch of the lunar material into paste form. Once extruded and deposited in the desirable location, the water could be extracted and recycled for the next batch of material. Microwave sintering using solar power can be integrated into the system and hence progressively cured structures of various complexities could be built.”