3D Printer For Houses Startup Contour Crafting Gets Funded By Traditional Construction Company

Posted: Jun 11 2017, 12:42pm CDT | by , in News | Technology News

3D Printer for Houses Startup Contour Crafting Gets Funded by Traditional Construction Company

An Austrian construction company invests in Contour Crafting Corporation.

Contour Crafting Corporation is set to start series production of deployable robotic 3D construction printers. Inventory Behrokh Khoshnevis has for years worked on 3D printers for construction. Now a leading manufacturer of formwork technology invests in his company to bring the 3D printers for houses to the market.

Doka Ventures, a subsidiary of the Austrian Umdasch Group takes a 30% stake in LA based Contour Crafting Corporation. Doka Ventures’ role of core shareholder is long-term and is reflected in personnel appointments to the positions of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chair of the Board of Directors.

Behrokh Khoshnevis is to remain the majority shareholder, President and CEO of the company. Khoshnevis, a professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, developed the contour crafting technologies at the University of Southern California.

He worked with the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, the technology transfer office for the university, to obtain a license for the technologies to further develop them within his own company.

“Very soon, we’ll have the first series-ready deployable robotic 3D construction printer” says Behrokh Khoshnevis, President and CEO of Contour Crafting Corporation.

The investment of a traditional construction technology company validates the technlogy Contour Crafting has developed. Doka's technology is for instance used in the construction of the Three World Trade Center skyscraper.

According to Khoshnevis the robot 3D printer will be able to initially print building shells layer by layer and so construct entire developments on site. The process massively reduces the time needed for erecting an entire building to mere hours or days. Depending on the model, the first generation commercial construction robots will have a reach of between 24 feet to 40 feet and a user selectable length that could be substantially larger.

Tipping the scales at less than 800 lbs, it is very light for a large construction machine. It is also very simple to put together and take apart, says Khoshnevis. An ordinary truck or a standard marine-freight shipping container has ample space for several of the robots. One or two operators certified by Contour Crafting Corporation can monitor progress on the build.

The robotic 3D construction printers are designed for use wherever accommodation and infrastructure have to be provided rapidly and affordably. Alongside social housing construction, Khoshnevis also envisions this for disaster relief, such as building the new structures needed in a hurry after an earthquake.

The robots are to be manufactured in a 33,600 sq-ft facility in El Segundo. The first series-ready 3D construction printers are scheduled for dispatch at the start of 2018.

In addition to manufacturing and selling robotic 3D construction printers, Contour Crafting Corporation also intends to provide on-site building construction as a service. The startup has also applied its technology to space settlement and won prizes in NASA competitions.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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