MIT’s Solar-Powered Robot Just 3D-Printed a Damn House

Well, a 50 foot-wide foam igloo, technically

By Evan Bleier

 
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28 April 2017

After San Francisco startup Apis Cor dropped jaws by 3D-printing a 410-square-foot cement home back in March, a team of MIT researchers apparently took it as a challenge. And boy, did they accept.

It took them a little while, but this week the team fired back by using their Digital Construction Platform — a solar-powered hydraulic arm on treads that’s connected to a supply of raw materials — to create a 12-foot tall, 50-foot-wide foam igloo, the biggest 3D-printed structure in history. They also severely beat Apis Cor’s 24-hour build time: MIT’s robot completed its job in just 13.5 hours.

Designed to provides benefits in safety, quality and cost compared to traditional methods, the DCP has the potential to provide a number of customization options too. Not to mention bragging rights.

The ultimate goal for the DCP is “to have something totally autonomous, that you could send to the moon or Mars or Antarctica, and it would just go out and make these buildings for years,” said designer Steven Keating. “But we also wanted to show that we could build something tomorrow that could be used right away.”

Wonder how they got it out of there.

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