Contour crafting is a building printing technology being researched by Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (in the Viterbi School of Engineering) that uses a computer-controlled crane or gantry to build edifices rapidly and efficiently with substantially less manual labor. It was originally conceived as a method to construct molds for industrial parts. Khoshnevis decided to adapt the technology for rapid home construction as a way to rebuild after natural disasters, like the devastating earthquakes that have plagued his native Iran.
Using a quick-setting, concrete-like material, contour crafting forms the house's walls layer by layer until topped off by floors and ceilings set in place by the crane. The notional concept calls for the insertion of structural components, plumbing, wiring, utilities, and even consumer devices like audiovisual systems as the layers are built.
In 2010, Khoshnevis claimed that his system could build a complete home in a single day, and its electrically powered crane would produce very little construction material waste. The Science Channel's Discoveries This Week program in 2005 reported that, given 3–7 tons of material waste and the exhaust fumes from construction vehicles during standard home construction, contour crafting could significantly reduce environmental impact.[dated info]
- "Annenberg Foundation Puts Robotic Disaster Rebuilding Technology on Fast Track". University of Souther California School of Engineering. November 14, 2005. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- "Home, Sweet Home". University of Southern California. March 24, 2004. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- "House-Bot". The Science Channel. December 30, 2005.
- "Caterpillar Inc. Funds Viterbi 'Print-a-House' Construction Technology". USC – Viterbi School of Engineering. August 28, 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- "Colloquium with Behrokh Khoshnevis". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved January 13, 2010.