At the gas pump today a blurb came on the cheddar news gas pump kiosk video about Travis Kalanick’s (former Uber CEO) latest investment in a business (Habitas) that claims to be 3D printing hotels in Tulum Mexico.
Cheddar News is a fox news style click bait outlet that specializes in pushing tech bunkum speculations and idiotic social net talking points.
So where are these 3d printed rooms then? There are no images of them that indicate any of the structures were actually 3d printed, no images or video of them being made, the technology making them or a single company owner, manager, employee, engineer or developer talking about the process or how it works.
The article references that the structures are pre-fabricated in a process compared to a company by the name of Katerra which uses robotic wall pre-fabrication,NOT 3d printing.
This is simply more tech bunkum from the man who gave us the worlds largest sexual assault epidemic in commercial transportation and a couple of con artist burn outs from burning man.
I found a video of one of the CEOs of Habitas. The man sounds like he has some form of permanent brain damage.
I found an Arabian Business magazine article on the subject which eluded to whole building construction using 3d printing however there were no actual real world examples or any representatives with any companies talking about the actual technology or applications.
That is not to say that 3d building printing technology does not exist.
It just does not and likely will never exist in the realm of making very large structures or very reliable structures that are cost effective and safe compared to their traditional counterparts.
The company ICON does have a working 3d printer system that can build a small 8ft high house.
However the structure requires additional traditional construction to fill out it’s height to human specifications as well as adding plumbing, electrical , window and door framing. The ICON system is a vertical box printer style system.
Another company, Apis Cor has a centered rotary 3d printing system which has built a taller multi level structure, however in the videos showing construction, there are workers regularly correcting the system and setting up framing as the printer is working.
The Apis Cor constructions also require a large amount of human finish work and framing.
The poured 3d Printing does not leave a flat level surface which needs to have concrete anchoring attached if the home owner wants to hang or attach shelving or additional wall cover for safety and weather protection.
There are also density issues with the specialized concrete material used as it is being laid and set very quickly direct from injection. The strength and consistency of the structures may have severe issues.
The process of pouring entire buildings of concrete by filling a preset frame with an interior metal substrate with traditional concrete has been around since the 1950’s. But it has never made it to the forefront of popularity despite offering advantages in price and the time of construction.
Thus far there are more issues with 3d printed homes than with traditional.
Very likely this is a bid by Kalanick to infiltrate the construction market the same way he did with Uber in transportation.
By initially offering what seems like an amazing product and then later delivering a cheaper and far more dangerous one.
I think that Habitas is trying to get into the prafab market with cheap knock offs and roping investors by making themselves out as the Uber of home construction.
It worked with Uber and it may just work with Habitas.