Habitat for Humanity develops its first 3D-printed home in US

July 22, 2021 by  
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Habitat for Humanity is a long-standing nonprofit whose mission is to provide affordable home ownership to low-income families around the world. Currently, that includes areas of the United States where affordable housing is in short supply. In Tempe, Arizona, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is building its first 3D-printed home on American soil. “This is really a moonshot opportunity for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona,” said Jason Barlow, president and CEO of Habitat Central Arizona. “When we consider the housing issues facing Arizona, the need for affordable homeownership solutions becomes clear. If we can deliver decent, affordable, more energy-efficient homes at less cost, in less time and with less waste, we think that could be a real game-changer. Just think of the implications.” Related: You can rent the world’s first 3D-printed Airbnb tiny home While the current build is a single residence that will house an approved family, the goal is to use the innovative technology to provide sustainable, scalable, low-cost housing across Arizona and other areas of the country. The home, perched above Clark Park, will be a three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-story dwelling when it is complete. The project is actually a bit of a hybrid, with around 75% of the building being 3D-printed and the rest constructed in standard ways. However, the use of the Build on Demand Printer (BOD 2) by the Germany-based PERI Group speeds up the process, which began in May 2021. Construction is expected to wrap up in early fall of this year. “While we have found success in building small 3D-printed homes abroad, at 1,700 square feet, this home represents Habitat’s entry into new, innovative space. It is the first of its kind in the U.S. and sets the stage for increased capacity through a solution that could be both sustainable and cost-effective ,” said Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada at Habitat for Humanity International, in a statement. The 3D-printing process equates to less expensive building supplies, which results in an overall lower project cost. Relying on the automated technology also reduces construction waste. Furthering the goal toward more sustainable building practices, Habitat Central Arizona is aiming to qualify for LEED Platinum certification along with IBHS FORTIFIED Home designation. Goolsby said, “We’re proud of Habitat Central Arizona’s research and progress using this new technology , and will continue to assess its potential to be scaled and more widely adopted so that we can further address the critical issue of home affordability in the U.S.” + Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Via Tech Plus Images via Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

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Habitat for Humanity develops its first 3D-printed home in US

You can rent the world’s first 3D-printed Airbnb tiny home

July 20, 2021 by  
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With 3D printing, a small blob of material can turn into something amazing. Fibonacci House realizes this potential, as the world’s first fully 3D-printed concrete  tiny home  to be listed on Airbnb, now available to rent .  Located in a rapidly-growing and widely popular area in the Kootenay Lake Village (KLV) project at Procter Point in Nelson, BC, the home was printed over the course of 11 days. It includes space for two adults and two children, with a tiny  footprint of just 35 square meters. The home features a sitting area, loft bedroom, fully-functional kitchen and bathroom. Related: World’s first 3D-printed neighborhood planned for Rancho Mirage, California  As Canada’s first 3D-printed home, the Fibonacci House is an example of how far 3D printing has come. Its curved walls make an architectural statement. In fact, the rounded design is the result of a challenge to develop an outline with the fewest possible straight lines. But the curvature is more than just aesthetic, with the concrete offering a solid, climate-proof,  energy-efficient  and easy-to-maintain surface.  The printer used for the project is a product from leading construction technology company Twente Additive Manufacturing, which has offices in Canada, Germany and soon, Dubai. Twente Additive Manufacturing Inc. explains, “The Design of the House was inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence, a well-known pattern that is often referred to as “the golden ratio” which can be found in nature in numerous variations: in shells, flower petals, leaf formations, etc.”  Perhaps the most unique aspect of the project is that all proceeds from rentals will go to World Housing, an organization that has built homes for thousands of families in developing nations around the world. The organization is now bringing its work to its own backyard to develop a 3D-printed community for single mothers and their children in Canada. The project, named Sakura Place, will be a cluster of five three-bedroom homes that combine to form the petals of a cherry blossom.  World Housing is using the example of the Fibonacci House to recognize a possible solution for the labor shortage within the construction industry. This project also addresses the problem of construction  waste  and affordable housing shortages.  In addition to the efficiency and  minimal site impact  of the printed material, non-concrete surfaces in the home are made up of sustainably harvested cedar and fir from KLV’s next-door neighbors, the Harrop Procter Community Forest.  + Twente Additive Manufacturing Inc. Images via Twente Additive Manufacturing Inc.

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You can rent the world’s first 3D-printed Airbnb tiny home

A mini rainforest thrives in the Nanbo Bay Reception Center

July 19, 2021 by  
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In Yinchuan Shi, China , Nanbo Bay Reception Center by Sunson Design is an example of striking architecture that intertwines nature with comfort and eye-catching appeal. The center sits adjacent to China Yinchuan Cultural Park, which is backed by wetlands that appear to have inspired much of the feng shui flow inside the building. The experience begins at the entrance, dubbed the “hall of time.” Here, visitors their first impression of the natural yet mysterious space, which is bathed in  plants . In fact, the Reception Hall is a mini ecological rainforest with bamboo, banyan trees, plantains and other fresh green plants and low shrubs. This environment invites guests to slow down and look around, enjoying the natural elements while gradually progressing through the space. Related: Sino-Italian Cultural Exchange City Reception Center is a hidden art hall in China Copious natural light streams in from innovative sky windows overhead, ranging from a spectacularly engaging grilled design to extraordinary skylight effects. The marriage between the outdoors and indoors leaves visitors questioning if they are actually in a building at all.  Moving into the adjacent sand table display area, visitors meet more  natural materials  in the form of floor-to-ceiling stone walls and copious wood accents. Also off the reception hall is an expansive library and sitting area with tables spaced throughout a tiered stairway. On the opposite side of a built-in bookshelf wall sits a bar. The bookshelf itself is filled with discussion-worthy pieces paying homage to ancient Yinchuan. Throughout the dining area,  wood  tables and chairs, wallpaper printed in food designs, and bamboo screens continue the ecological theme.  Nanbo Bay Reception Center also features a landscaped courtyard, awe-inspiring sculptures, and a glass-walled swimming pool area that creates the visual illusion of “zero gravity” for a floating effect. These spaces work together to join the elements of  water , stone, light, music and plants. + Sunson Design Photography by Kanghui Zeng

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A mini rainforest thrives in the Nanbo Bay Reception Center

Five bridges topped with urban farms could revitalize war-torn Mosul

November 1, 2017 by  
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Architect Vincent Callebaut recently unveiled plans to rebuild war-torn Mosul as a sustainable, self-sufficient city. Callebaut’s proposal includes five bridges built with stalactite-inspired housing amid self-sustaining urban farms that run on solar power and advanced hydroponic systems. After months of intense fighting, the Islamic State was finally pushed out of the Mosul in summer of 2017. The city had been occupied since 2014, and much of the urban areas have been destroyed over the years, including the beloved five bridges that span the Tigris River. Callebaut believes the bridges could be rebuilt as inhabited spaces covered in self-sustaining urban farms . Related: Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers The architect submitted his design, 5 Farming Bridges, to a competition that sought potential designs and ideas to rebuild the war-torn city: “ Rebuilding Iraq’s Liberated Areas: Mosul’s Housing “. The proposal features mountainous 3D-printed buildings covered with urban farms that would guarantee food independence while providing excellent thermal insulation. The buildings on the bridges are inspired by the Islamic Muqarnas – ornamental vaults – and the homes are stacked in a vertically efficient manner. Wind chimneys would be installed in the new urban areas to provide cool natural air circulation using the thermal energy of the rivers. Solar water heaters would provide hot water thanks to hundreds of photovoltaic-clad pergolas. The bridges’ many farms and orchards would be irrigated with water from the river. Gray water from the communities would be recycled and filtered by plants in lagoon waterfalls that cascade off the bridges into the river below. Biomass composters would be used to fertilize the various suspended vegetable gardens, creating an amazing, self-sufficient urban oasis. + Vincent Callebaut Images by Vincent Callebaut

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Five bridges topped with urban farms could revitalize war-torn Mosul

IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

September 13, 2017 by  
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Ever purchased a piece of furniture, only to find out later it didn’t fit the style or size of the room? Swedish furniture maker IKEA is tackling this problem with a free augmented reality (AR) application that utilizes Apple’s new ARKit technology . The app will let users experience how sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and other furnishing items will fit into their homes in augmented reality. According to the IKEA press release, all products experienced through the app are 3D and true to scale. This ensures “every choice is just the right size, design and function.” Said Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation at Inter IKEA Systems, “IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster.” Users will also have the option of capturing the setting in the app and sharing it as an image or a video with friends. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London IKEA is the first home furnishing company to build on Apple’s new technology to create an AR app that ensures customers are confident with their purchases. Reportedly, the app has a 98 percent accuracy as it scales products based on room dimensions. “The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings,” says the press release. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. Beginning late-September, users with an iOs 11 may download and enjoy the app. In total, 2,000 IKEA products will be available to experiment with. The first release will focus on larger furniture products, including all sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and top-selling “storage solutions” that can be placed on the floor.  Data collected from the application will also play a role in the launch of new product lines. “Now, technology has caught up with our ambition. AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere,” said Valdsgaard. To use the IKEA app, all one needs to do is: upgrade their device to iOS 11, download the IKEA Place app for free from the Apple store, scan the floor in your home, browse the list of available products in the app, select a chosen furniture item to experience, and move and place the product into the space. It is that simple! + IKEA  Images via IKEA

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The worlds first 3D-printed reinforced concrete bridge is almost complete

September 11, 2017 by  
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Eindhoven University of Technology has a massive 3D printer capable of printing immense objects – and it’s currently creating the world’s first 3D-printed reinforced concrete bridge. The bridge will be installed this month in the small Dutch town of Gemert, and it will be the first of its kind thanks to an innovative printing technique that reduces waste. Technically, Madrid introduced the world’s first 3D-printed bridge earlier this year – but the Gemert bridge will be built using a special process that reinforces the concrete layers with steel cables as the concrete blocks are formed. This technique – which was was developed by a team of researchers working with Teho Salat, a professor of concrete construction – ensures that the bridge’s concrete is “pre-stressed” in order to avoid the typical tensile stress that often occurs in concrete construction. Related: World’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge pops up in Madrid The concrete used to print the bridge is thicker than normal, so it retains its form as it is printed. This is important because it means little – if any – concrete is wasted. Concrete production releases carbon dioxide, so reducing waste is incredibly important for the environment. Additionally, printing with moldable concrete means there’s no need for formwork, again reducing the amount of materials needed for construction. Working in collaboration with Dutch company BAM Infra , the team has spent two months printing the pieces, which will then be fused together to construct the bridge. The structure is slated to be installed in Gemert in late September. + Eindhoven University of Technology + BAM Infra Via 3D Print Images via BAM Infra

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The worlds first 3D-printed reinforced concrete bridge is almost complete

NASA researchers says Harvey flooding pushed Houston down two centimeters

September 11, 2017 by  
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Harvey unloaded around 33 trillion gallons of water in the United States, the weight of which is capable of bending the Earth’s crust . From satellite data , it looks like this is what happened in Houston . Scientist Chris Milliner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted a map with GPS data revealing Houston has been pushed down by around two centimeters (or about 0.8 inches). Milliner’s map included Nevada Geodetic Laboratory data revealing the area around Houston was actually pushed down because of the weight of all the water from the tropical storm . One gallon of water weighs around 8.34 pounds, so if Harvey dumped 33 trillion gallons of water, that’s about 275 trillion pounds. Related: Arctic warming likely turned Harvey into “an extreme killer storm” GPS data show #Harveyflood was so large it flexed Earth's crust, pushing #Houston down by ~2 cm! #EarthScience #HurricaneHarvey #txflood pic.twitter.com/88lNScJBq9 — Chris Milliner (@Geo_GIF) September 4, 2017 It’s not the first time scientists have documented how the weight of water can alter the land. The Altantic cited a 2012 study focusing on the Himalayas that found a seasonal flux in the mountains’ height as water fell and then made its way down the mountains into Asian rivers. They also noted a 2017 study found “vertical surface displacement [with] peak-to-peak amplitudes” of 0.5 to one centimeter in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Atlantic suggested the changes around Houston could be seen as a “fast-action version” of what takes place in mountain ranges during the seasons. The change could be due to soil beneath GPS stations compacting because of the weight of the water, Milliner said. But he thinks crust deformation was the main means of the change, since some of the GPS stations are on bedrock and also saw the depression. The ground has already been sinking in Houston, because we’ve pumped groundwater out of the city’s aquifers, according to The Atlantic. Milliner clarified the phenomenon he saw after Harvey is in addition to subsidence the city has experienced. Via The Atlantic Images via Chris Milliner on Twitter and U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf

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NASA researchers says Harvey flooding pushed Houston down two centimeters

9 incredible pod homes to help you win at off-grid living

August 25, 2017 by  
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If your #lifegoals include living off the grid in some stunning locale, then check this out: we’ve rounded up the best pod homes that can be installed in even the most remote locations. From a futuristic 3D-printed shelter to the nature-influenced Baobed , there’s something for every world traveler (and almost every budget). Pod Space Pod Space’s award winning pre-fab pods can be installed just about anywhere you can dream of. The modular pods are customizable, so you can use them as a backyard office, an extra room, or even a fully-equipped tiny home . The best part is the floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can let nature in while keeping the elements out. Podzook If you are the type to think outside the box – literally – you’ll dig the spherical Podzook. With its locally-sourced shingled wood exterior and its space-age interior, the Podzook is what you’d get if you combined traditional Maine craftsmanship with an alien space pod. Each one is made to order and comes with a skylight and a futuristic gull-wing door. Prices range from 28 – 32k depending on the options you choose. 3D-Printed SOM shelter Architecture firm SOM is taking off-grid living into the future with a 3D-printed shelter that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. It features rooftop solar panels for power and comes with its own vehicle that generates its own power. Best of all, the structure and the vehicle can share power wirelessly when you need an extra bit of juice. The SOM shelter can be “printed” right on site, illustrating what is possible in the future of home building. ALPOD The 65k ALPOD is a high-tech solution to skyrocketing real estate prices. The prefabricated structure is made of lightweight aluminum, so it can be moved where needed and then recycled when has reached the end of its life. The pods can even be stacked, so you could create an entire skyscraper of them. With 480-square feet of living space, it’s a great solution for both urban locations, since it can be hooked up to the grid, and off-grid with it solar power option. POD-Idlada POD-Idladla is a prefabricated home that can be shipped flat-packed for on-site assembly in a snap. The 186-square foot tiny home is powered by solar energy and is modular, so it can be expanded if necessary. Tall ceilings help make the space feel large without increasing its footprint, and costs start at just $15k. Ecocapsule The egg-shaped Ecocapsule is the stuff that off-grid dreams are made of. The ultra-portable house is powered by solar and wind, with rainwater collection and filtration built-in. The 86-square foot space manages to pack a lot of features, with a folding bed, dining area, shower and toilet, storage and a kitchenette. Each capsule fits inside a shipping container so it can go nearly anywhere. Ecocapsule homes start shipping this year, so save your pennies, because owning one will set you back $94,000. Drop Pod The DROP Eco-Hotel is different because it isn’t designed as a permanent home, but as a pod-like hotel room for modern nomads that can be installed in some truly incredible places – including elevated above the earth. The prefabricated structure is clad in slotted wood to control solar gain, features a skylight for daylighting and a rainwater recycling system. Harwyn Pod The Harwyn Pod is a tiny space for distraction-free work. Designed to be an office, art space or yoga studio , each pod can pop-up on-site in just 5 hours and comes complete with built-in furniture. With a footprint of only 2.5 by 2 meters and luxury car-inspired design, each tiny dwelling is fully insulated against the elements. Baobed Sleeping Pod The Baobed pod is a treehouse for adventure-seekers. The sleek pod can be suspended in the treetops, nestled on a beach, and plopped on a rooftop or even in the middle of a pond. The fruit-like shape was inspired by the fruit of the baobab tree and provides a tiny, safe space for travelers. Thanks to its tiny footprint and light weight (just 992 pounds), it can be transported on a trailer and can be equipped with a platform, mosquito nets and storage options.

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Scientists just discovered snow on Mars

August 25, 2017 by  
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Forget everything you think you know about Mars. In a study published in Nature Geoscience , scientists confirm that there is snow on the Red Planet. It’s not what you might think, however. Mars experiences explosions of snow known as “ice microbursts” that only occur in the shadows and are very unlike snowfall on Earth. This finding is challenging previous notions about the planet’s history and the likelihood of future generations colonizing it. On Mars, the clouds have to be very low to the surface (about 1 to 2 kilometers, or 0.61 to 1.24 miles), or else the snow will be annihilated before it even reaches the rusty soil. This is because the air pressure increases rapidly as it descends downwards. In turn, the local temperature is increased and snow reaches evaporation-ready temperatures. As IFLScience reports, scientists previously believed snow precipitation occurred only by “the slow sedimentation of individual particles.” The authors now know this isn’t the case. Their research shows that the sudden snow explosion mechanisms must have affected “Mars’ water cycle, past and present.” Related: NASA unveils plan to make oxygen on Mars Because the red planet’s atmosphere is incredibly thin, its thermal insulation is pretty low. At night, the mercury can drop as low as -73°C (-100°F) on the equator surface, and -125°C (-195°F) at the poles. When sunlight glances Mars, water at the equator is given just enough energy to evaporate. This results in the formation of low-pressure clouds — a phenomenon NASA is already tracking. Because the temperature of the Red Planet drops considerably at night, the rapid and localized redistribution of heat results in air currents becoming unstable. Water ice crystals then fall out in rapid succession. Some crystals may reach the surface, but others sublimate into a gas . The streaks of snowfall that fail to reach the surface are known as “virgas.” For now, only robots are able to experience Mars’ unique snowfall. But if humans ever do colonize Mars — a feat Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are ambitious to see accomplished in their lifetimes , maybe we’ll get to experience the planet’s unique weather patterns firsthand. + Nature Geoscience Via IFLScience  Images via Pixabay , NASA/JPL

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Insane new flying Iron Man suit will be 3D-printed

August 9, 2017 by  
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Hold onto your seats Marvel fans and tech enthusiasts. Before you know it, a real-life “Iron Man” suit will be on the market — and yes, it can fly. Developed by Richard Browning, the co-founder of start-up company Gravity , the jet engine-powered flying suit was designed to “re-imagine manned flight.” With two engine arm configurations that weigh up to 90 pounds and a temperature threshold of 700°C (1292°F), the highly-anticipated invention will also feature wings. And did we mention it will be 3D-printed? The Gravity jet engine-powered flying suit was unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA, where Browning dished details to Tested’s Adam Savage. The newest version of the suit is comprised of four arm-loaded thrusters and an additional jet pack that is strapped to the user’s back. As noted above, two engine arm configurations can reach temperatures of 700°C (1292°F). 3D Printing Industry reports that if handled responsibly, the rockets aren’t as dangerous as they first might seem. This is because the heat is quickly dispersed by the air which, in turn, reduces the risk of one’s boots or sneakers catching on fire. Browning explained that the movement of the suit is controlled by a very “intuitive” system. For instance, minor movements of the arms determine the direction and height by altering the jet’s vector. It helps that a DAQRI augmented reality (AR) helmet with a heads-up display is connected. Not only does the AR helmet monitor the suit’s performance, it shows the data of speed and altitude in real-time, eliminating the need to check one’s wrist. Browning flew the suit at Comic-Con, wowing comic fans and technology entrepreneurs . He was reportedly able to fly at a speed up to 45/50 mph. Right now, between seven and eight different versions of the suit are in development; modifications will affect the functionality and appearance of the suit. “We are working on a whole bunch of adaptations with the manufacturer,” said Browning “to make [the engines ] much more fit for what we’re now using them for, because clearly they weren’t designed for this.” Related: Stunning Europe Building facade shows off the beauty of 3D printing in Amsterdam The most exciting part of the next-generation suit is that it will be 3D-printed and will feature temperature proof, one-piece aluminum housing for the thrusters. Because the control modules are in need of improvements, the engine configuration will also be changed. Finally, wings will be added to the suit to change the pattern of flight from vertical to airfoil. I’m quite excited about that, Browning said. “We’ve fully CADed up a beautiful, organic inspired housing, and that’s being 3D printed now.” No further information has yet been obtained about the potential cost or release date of the real-life Iron Man suit. However, in the past, Browning informed interested buyers that a custom-built suit should cost approximately $250,000. + Gravity  Via 3D Printing Industry Images via Gravity  

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