Could 3D printed houses ease Australia’s housing crisis? Dubbo Regional Council considering trial

Could 3D printing of houses be the answer to Australia’s regional housing crisis?

With homes increasingly unavailable and unaffordable in regional Australia, a regional town is considering investing in a trial of 3D printing homes locally, hoping it could be a game-changing innovation.

Houses are being 3D printed all over the world, including in the US, Italy and the Netherlands, and in January Australia’s first 3D printed house was built in Melbourne in just three days.

A council in western New South Wales is examining whether the technology is viable enough to help overcome Australia’s labor and material shortages, with the potential to build homes quickly, sustainably. more profitable and more environmentally friendly.

Large-scale 3D printing is gaining momentum around the world, with some projects producing a home in just 24 hours.(Supplied: 3D printed house)

Dubbo Regional Councilor Matt Wright was convinced it could revolutionize the Australian property market.

“It’s a bit out there, but 3D printing has been around since the early 80s,” he said.

“We are starting to see 3D printing emerge in the automotive industry with the printing of cars, medical for operational purposes. Its potential is virtually limitless.

“We are now starting to see larger scale projects like housing emerging in a number of countries around the world.

“I’m planting the seed for what we hope will be something we can see in our city in the next year or two.”

The exterior of a council chamber.
Dubbo Regional Council will consider a trial proposal for 3D printing homes to try to overcome a major local housing crisis.(ABC Western Plains: Lucy Thackray)

The councilor presented a notice of motion proposing that council reserve up to four residential blocks from the new stage of Keswick local residential land release for trial printing.

He said the speed of building a 3D-printed house was one of the many benefits.

“A number of companies around the world are suggesting they could have a house printed in days,” Mr Wright said.

3D printers in action.
These 3D printers were used to create a dress in Canberra.(ABC News: Alkira Reinfrank )

“Cost-efficiency is another benefit, we are talking about machines that can accurately calculate the amount of material needed, so the waste can be zero in some cases.

“It’s a huge savings. I know some people are concerned that it will put some people out of work, but you still need plumbers, electricians, plasterers to work on those houses depending on the finish you want. “

The University of New South Wales has also worked alongside architects to create its own software to ideally 3D print houses.

The motion will be voted on by council tonight.

Elna M. Lemons