There will be a time when there will be a machine, itself larger than a section of a house, that will act like a self running factory. This machine will extrude a house who’s walls and floors are made of a synthetic new material. This new material will be fibrous, so that it can support itself against tearing, rigid so it can be structural, lightweight so that it can have insulating qualities, and have an ability to form into a solid of any shape quickly so that the molding of the shape of the house can be completed quickly.
Within the walls and floors there will be formed tubes to allow the running of wires and plumbing, that the material itself will allow attachment and even the running of water, so that fixtures can be added directly to the material. And it will be a material that can be cut, so that modifications can be made without compromising the structural integrity of the whole.
And when formed, windows, doors and trim may be added, and finishes applied directly to the surface so that studs and nailers become a thing of the past. Because it is non-porous, soil, grass and plants can be placed on top of it. And it will be a non-oil based product and itself be fireproof.
Rendering by SimpleTwig Rendering for STV, Inc.
The material is a sticky liquid when initially combined and dries quickly with a chemical reaction. Once dry it is a integral mass that can take on any shape.
Yes I do believe there will be a time when a product will be made that will meet these expectations. It will change our perception of architecture, of how we think of it, what they look like and us people live. In the future, all it will take to create a house is a digital model, the machine, the materials and a little bit of time.
(originally published November 12, 2010, years ahead of the ‘3D printed house China has built, see original post here on our old tumblr blog site: http://simpletwig.tumblr.com/post/1554295285/there-will-be-a-time-future-homes)