3D printing is coming to the Australian public

3D printing made its mainstream debut on The Block earlier this week and offered a glimpse of what the technology will bring to the built environment of the future.

Contour 3D printing technology was used to build a pool cabana for the Channel 9 show. houses.

Contour 3D believes the technology will reduce construction times and double the lifespan of homes. The hut was created with a concrete mix designed by Contour and UNSW. It contains 30% recycled material and is the first 3D printed structure to be implemented at an Australian site. The concrete used on The Block is a beta version, with both organizations hoping that a self-insulating concrete mix with 70% recycled material will be developed.

Nick Holden, CEO of Contour 3D, tells the Sydney Morning Herald the Australian-developed technology had never been used for a shack-sized project.

“The construction industry is the latest to be fully automated through technologies such as robotics. The industry continues to build much as it did 2,000 or 3,000 years ago,” he says.

“If we made a mistake, it would definitely end up in print. Even up until a few weeks ago, we really didn’t feel ready to go, but it was an amazing result in the end. It was still nerve-wracking though.

Contour hopes artificial intelligence will eventually make the printing process easier, resulting in a concrete mix that can be changed based on climate and weather conditions. His next project is that of a mini-house, located in Gymea.

For more information, visit contour3d.com.au.

Images: Contour3D