3D printing

The 3D Printer That Can Build a House

The University of Southern California is testing a giant 3D printer that could be used to build a whole house in under 24 hours.

Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has designed the giant robot that replaces construction workers with a nozzle on a gantry, this squirts out concrete and can quickly build a home according to a computer pattern. It is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building,” says Khoshnevis. The technology, known as Contour Crafting, could revolutionise the construction industry.

The affordable home?

Contour Crafting could slash the cost of home-owning, making it possible for millions of displaced people to get on the property ladder. It could even be used in disaster relief areas to build emergency and replacement housing.  For example, after an event such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which has displaced almost 600,000 people, Contour Crafting could be used to build replacement homes quickly.

As Khoshnevis points out, if you look around you pretty much everything is made automatically these days –

your shoes, your clothes, home appliances, your car. The only thing that is still built by hand are these buildings.

How does Contour Crafting work?

The Contour Crafting system is a robot that by automates age-old tools normally used by hand. These are wielded by a robotic gantry that builds a three-dimensional object.

Ultimately it would work like this,” says Brad Lemley from Discover Magazine. “On a cleared and leveled site, workers would lay down two rails a few feet further apart than the eventual building’s width and a computer-controlled contour crafter would take over from there. A gantry-type crane with a hanging nozzle and a components-placing arm would travel along the rails. The nozzle would spit out concrete in layers to create hollow walls, and then fill in the walls with additional concrete… humans would hang doors and insert windows.

This technology is like a rock that we have rolled to the top of a cliff, just one little push and the idea will roll along on its own.

- Khoshnevis told Discover Magazine


Art, Design, and the MakerLab, Oh My!

When you hear the term 3D printing, a lot of things may come to mind such as rapid prototyping or do-it-yourself projects but what about art and design? As an art and design major (and DIY enthusiast) I was ecstatic to learn of the Illinois MakerLab's existence. What I love about the lab is the ability to create practically anything from imagination and bring it to life. There is something about physically holding my ideas that really inspires me to create more, and I'm not alone. I talked to several other art majors who also discovered the lab about what they created and thought about the lab:

The Illinois Makerlab is awesome. It was the only place on campus where I could get something printed with clear plastic without a crazy 3-week turnaround time. I regret not taking advantage of their facilities more during the semester.

- Andy Gao

My experience at the Makers Lab was great, as the process was quick and easy. The finished projects are well made and the best part is that it was free!

- Autumn Hayes

Autumn's Senior Thesis Project

The lab was a really cool place for students to 3D print and the staff is really friendly and helpful too.

- Josh Lebovitz

Josh's Final Project

top view small hole

I was also able to print a few of my own projects.

Miniature furniture

Chair model

And one just for fun!

I think that this lab has truly helped many art and design students bring their ideas into reality. It is an amazing resource for student's while they are here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I hope that many more art students will discover the possibilities that this lab brings!

It's Easy as 123D Catch

So you want to learn how to 3D scan an object using 123D Catch? Don't worry it is easy to learn! 123D Catch allows you to create photo realistic 3D models from just photographs from your camera or iPhone. First you will need: - your object - a camera or phone - 123D Catch App

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TfXXJxDsXw?feature=player_detailpage] 1. Taking the photos. - Make sure that you can move around your object when you take photos. - Take 20-40 photos from different angles around the object. (The more pictures the better!) - Tips: - No transparent or very reflective objects. - Don't move the object, only you move when you take the photos. - Make sure your object is on a unique background with lots of details, place newspapers down if necessary, and put the object on them.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jIU0vJdAHs?feature=player_detailpage] 2. Upload your photos into the 123D Catch Cloud. - Either download the software if you have a PC or iPhone or load up the app in your browser and launch 123D Catch (Both can be found here) - Click on "Create a new photo scene" - Find all the photos you have taken and click "open" - Click on the "green checkmark" and type in your name and email, then agree to the terms - Confirm your email and type in a name for your project and then click "wait" - After all of your photos are uploaded, click on the prompt that will let 123D Catch send you an email when the 3D Model is complete - All of the heavy computing to create the 3D model is done in the cloud freeing you and your computer from processing time - 123D Catch should close when you click "ok"

3. Getting your 3D model - When your 3D model is done you will receive an email that has a link for you to download your file - Download and save the .3dp file on to your computer/phone - Back in the 123D Catch app, open up this file that you just downloaded - You have now just created 3D model using the photos you have taken!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlarVKBAEtM?feature=player_detailpage] 4. Cleaning up your 3D model - You can clean up your model directly in 123D Catch by select and delete certain parts of your mesh that are not necessary to 3D print (be careful though because there is no undo button) - You can also edit the model in Netfabb or other 3D CAD software.

And there's your model! If you have questions, please post on our Forums

Come on into the Makerlab on Friday, April 5th from 2-4pm for a workshop to 3D scan for yourself!

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