The application of 3D printing is becoming more varied with each passing day.  I mean, disabled children are getting a new lease of life with 3D printed tools to assist them in their daily life.  Designers are able to 3D print their creations to get a better feel for their products and construction firms are now using the 3D printer to make parts for buildings.

minibuilders. mixing drones with 3D printing

minibuilders. mixing drones with 3D printing

But the time is not too far away when you will actually be able to 3D print your own house. Not with a regular 3D printer, but with a drone.  As we have already seen, the concept of 3D printed structural design is not a new one. But the massive 3D printers that are needed for large-scale construction projects are rather impractical.  Which is why Saša Jokić and Petr Novikov thought that adding drones into the mix will make a 3D printed construction project more achievable in much smaller spaces.

minibuilders work inside tight spaces.

minibuilders work inside tight spaces.

The gadgets are called Minibuilders. These small sized drones made by Saša Jokić and Petr Novikov, are robotic concrete mixers, which can deposit layers of liquid construct substance. As with regular 3D printed products, there is a need for a core to construct the rest of the project around. This core consists of two large cylinders of liquid synthetic marble. The liquid is then forced through extended tubes by a specialized team of three robots, using inflatable syringes.  Next a sensor-equipped Minibuilder will follow lines that are marked on the ground, for the foundation of the construction. The Minibuilder positions the first 20 layers of construct material in a singular, looping spiral.

minibuilders to help construction projects

minibuilders to help construction projects

To finalize the process, a human construction engineer then braces on an additional “grip robot” to the foundation so as to dispense the material.  This material is durable enough to 3D print roofs and supplementary suspended constructions, to create the building. What do you think? Are the next generation of bricklayers and dry-wall fitters out of a job?  Personally, I don’t think so, just yet. [Images via: wired] SOURCE: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/06/26/minibuilders/