Q: What is Contour Crafting?

A: Contour Crafting is a process by which large-scale structures can be fabricated quickly in a layer-by-layer fashion – like 3D-printing a building. The process slashes the cost of building a structure by minimizing the man-hours needed to manufacture it and also increases the speed at which the house can be put on the market, lowering the financing cost by allowing it to turn a profit for the builder more quickly. The process should also be much safer for construction workers than traditional building techniques, which would lower the cost of insurance for building companies. More detailed information is available here.

Q: Who will use Contour Crafting?

A: We expect that construction companies will be the biggest customers – this technology is poised to revolutionize the construction industry. It can be used for homes, towers, bridges, emergency shelters during a disaster – just about anything. In addition, we are working with NASA to adapt the technology for use on the Moon and Mars.

Q: I’m writing an article on Contour Crafting (CC). Where can I find high resolution pictures for CC.

A: Please click here for a list of high resolution pictures.

Q: How soon will this technology be on the market?

A: We hope to see entry-level construction models on the market within one to two years.

Q: Can you print an entire house?

A: Theoretically, yes – that’s the goal. At the moment, we don’t print entire houses in our lab due to a lack of space and the appropriate construction permits. Instead, we print smaller samples, like walls.

Q: How long would it take to print a house?

A: At a construction rate of about 20 seconds per square foot of wall (three minutes per square meter), a modest-sized 2,500-square-foot home could be constructed in about 18 or 19 hours with a workforce of about four people. We’re currently developing the technology to ensure that not just walls are printed, but infrastructure such as water and sewage pipes as well.

Q: How much do you estimate will be saved in terms of the cost for building a home?

A: We estimate approximately 60% savings once the project is fully implemented with plumbing, wiring, tiling etc.

Q: How much waste do you estimate will be saved in building that same home?

A: There will be nearly zero waste after the completion of the home.

Q: Can you give me a demonstration of how this works? Or can I take a tour of your lab? I need video and/or photos to accompany a story about Contour Crafting.

A: At this time, the lab is not open for tours and no demonstrations are planned. However, a database of photos and video of the Contour Crafting process is available for media use. Email Megan Hazle or Robert Perkins for access (contact information below).

Q: I have further questions. How do I get in touch with Dr. Khoshnevis or one of his colleagues for an interview?

A: Email or call Megan Hazle or Robert Perkins. You can reach them at hazle@usc.edu or (213) 821-1887; or perkinsr@usc.edu or (213) 740-9226

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