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Printing Buildings

Projections indicate costs will be around one fifth as much as conventional construction. Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, embedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning.

The machine will cost between $500K to $700K for average size (2000 sq ft — 200 m2) detached houses. This is not much given that a concrete pump truck is now $300k-$400K. Note that with one machine numerous homes can be built. The first commercial machines to be available this year, 2008. The machine will be collapsible to form into an easy truck load. The unloading and setup will take between 1-2 hours.

Behrokh Khoshnevis is the visionary who has been driving this concept. He is the Director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT) and Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at USC.

Very cool stuff. Related: Open Source 3-D PrintingA plane You Can Print$35 million to the USC School of EngineeringContractor Warned NYC About CraneSandwich Brick, Reusing Waste Material

$35 million to the USC School of Engineering

The 2006 Slate 60: Donations

Ming Hsieh, 50, founder of Cogent, a technology firm in Pasadena, Calif., that specializes in sophisticated identification systems including fingerprinting, gave $35 million to the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles to coincide with the 100th anniversary of its electrical-engineering program. Hsieh (pronounced “shee”) graduated from the university in 1984 with a master’s degree in electrical engineering after earning his bachelor’s degree in the same field a year earlier. In exchange for this gift, his first to the university, the department has been renamed in his honor. Born on a rice farm in northern China, Hsieh grew up very poor. As a child, he constructed small radios and televisions from spare parts, according to a university spokesman. His interest in electronics was stoked by an uncle, and Hsieh emigrated to the United States to attend college after coming into an inheritance. He recently became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Related: $25 Million for Marquette College of Engineering$40 Million for Engineering Education in BostonNSF $76 million for Science and Technology Centers$20 Million for Georgia Tech School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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