Are 3D-Printed Homes the Future of Housing? (Kristi Waterworth, Jan. 19, 2024, US NEWS)

Because companies like Alquist 3D are working on ways to build 3D-printed homes with materials that are on hand locally, these homes can also have very small carbon footprints. One of Alquist 3D’s ultimate goals is to design homes that are not only carbon neutral but carbon negative – they literally remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The other way that 3D-printed homes will ultimately become more affordable for homeowners is by simply being more energy efficient. Concrete homes have traditionally had high insulation values, but by customizing the wall formulas, local construction experts can make walls that respond better to local needs.

“Moving to using 3D printing to create homes can significantly help reduce energy usage because designs can be optimized to balance different features,” says Soydan Ozcan, sustainable manufacturing and materials scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. “For instance, we can create homes with walls that are structurally sound but that minimize heat loss.”

In the future, Ozcan says, a collaborative team from the Oak Ridge laboratory and the University of Maine will be introducing smart-wall features that can improve energy efficiency in response to a change in the environment.