What would you say about a house made with a 3-D printer? That’s crazy! Think again, because it is entirely possible.
NAR.REALTOR/MAGAZINE recently published an intriguing article. 3-D printing has been around for a handful of years now, but more prominently in the realm of small objects like clothing items and furniture. Not anymore! Contour Crafting, a commercial 3-D printing company in the works, aims to print shelter for those homeless as well as those stricken by natural disaster within the US and abroad.
Behrokh Khoshnevis, the director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies as well as an engineering professor, says, “In every other discipline in which automation has entered, there have been major changes. With construction, the same thing is going to happen. Construction is really the last frontier for automation.” Below is an animation of his own invention, a robotic arm used to apply quick-drying concrete to create a house frame.
How will 3-D printing affect the real estate industry?
First off, construction of homes, and buildings, will change. Secondly, a need for industrial and/ or retail space will spike.
Furthermore, the possibilities that come along with a 3-D printer are anything but limited. Especially if the software enables the printer to print any shape. Homes could be completely customized. Most noteworthy, the home buying experience could change in itself dramatically.
The dynamic of 3-D printing is huge. Geoffrey Kasselman, SIOR, the executive managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Chicago office, a commercial real estate service firm, raises a good point. What if we no longer have to rely on manufacturing outside of the US with the ability to print in 3-D? Maybe, this could mean no more outsourcing, creating more jobs on the home front. Real estate professionals, get ready! The need to house all business operations, including manufacturing, shipping, supplying, etc. will present itself. Agents will have to familiarize themselves with this shift in the market.
What about things other than houses?
Finally, once 3-D house printing really hits, what will happen with other products, smaller, tangible ones? Will stores change the way they make, market and display products? How will e-commerce be affected? This topic sure presents a slue of questions. If you had the option to buy a 3-D printed home, would you?
This innovation, in my opinion, is a great thing. This type of technology can bring drastic change, but good change. It will help revive parts of American industry that have otherwise fallen through the cracks. With change comes progress. What else will we be able to accomplish in the future to make the world a better, more efficient place?
Article, “The Promise of 3-D Printed Property,” by Meg White courtesy of NAR.REALTOR/MAGAZINE. Read it here.