There are so many elements to this article that I need to break it up into a series.
Just last month on the Interactive Technology radio program I mentioned 3D printers that can manufacture things on demand. I also pointed out that China needs houses and the Detroit auto industry needs new markets and suggested Detroit pre-fabricate houses for China.
Now I find an instance of the 3D printer designed to make buildings.
I am very excited by the development of 3D printer technology. This makes new innovation easier and quicker. The open source 3D printer makes this technology available to more people and empowers them to be innovators. More people with access to this technology mean more perspectives on innovation leading to more, better and faster innovation.
And this new technology that is moving 3D printers past prototyping and into manufacturing changes work from physical labor to mental. Design is now the only work needed.
“Khoshnevis believes his contour crafter will revolutionize building construction, dragging it into the digital age. Today, despite the advent of tech tools like power saws, mechanized cranes, and pneumatic nailers, construction is essentially the same tiring, gritty job it has been for 20,000 years. Workers still have to cut, grasp, hoist, place, and fasten materials, which is why labor accounts for about half of a building’s cost. The process is dangerous, slow, and wasteful: More than 400,000 American construction workers are injured each year, and a typical American house takes at least six months to complete, generating about four tons of waste.”
Everything he says is absolutely true. Unfortunately the entire structure of the industrialized economy depends on people working to get paid. If people don’t need to work then they won’t get paid. That is very bad. This doesn’t mean this type of technology won’t catch on and it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t catch on. It does mean huge disruption. Disruptions of this type typically are resisted with violence and that harms everyone. I hope to spread the ideas that I discovered to make these innovations a win-win-win.