Housing crisis

A Melbourne company’s innovative solution to Australia’s housing crisis

A melbourne company came up with an innovative idea to solve Australia’s problem lodging crisis by building entire houses across 3D printing.

Fortex technical director Jake Hartman said the process is similar to a desktop 3D printer, but on a much larger scale and can build a house in a more efficient timeframe.

“We are able to produce concrete on site, pump it on site and deliver the wall system to a house on site,” he said.

The company 3D prints concrete houses. (9News)
Melbourne company 3D printing houses
The process can take at least 40 hours to print a house. (9News)

It is a printer based on concrete but can use local resources to build the houses.

CEO David Lederer said the system is best suited for a flat surface to build on, but can build houses up to 12 meters.

“It’s a modular system ranging from small houses to 12 meters wide and three stories high and 50 meters deep before you have to move the printer, so infinite depth,” Lederer said.

Hartman added that it gives more “design freedom” to architects because of the ease of building houses of different shapes like curved walls.

“The design freedom it will give to architects and designers will result in a whole new way and style of living because of the different shapes and forms we will be able to see in home construction, Hartman said.

Melbourne company 3D printing houses
It is hoped that the process will help resolve Australia’s housing crisis. (9News)
Melbourne company 3D printing houses
The process is not limited in size and can build houses up to 12 meters. (9News)

Fortex realized it was possible to build a 210 square meter one-story house in just 40 hours with two days of printer setup before construction.

“That compared to a conventional building of eight to 12 weeks for the wall system, that is to say not counting the delays that all the builders have in terms of supply, now that could explode to 14 weeks for the system wall,” Lederer said.

The company said the technology would not put looms out of business, as workers are still needed to operate the printing system.

It comes as the construction industry is under severe pressure due to shortages of materials and workers and high demand after the COVID-19 shutdowns shut down the sector.

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