3D printing concrete to build homes
What do you get when you cross an engineer, auto body shop owner, marketing wiz, and a safety officer? Well, in this case, affordable and eco-friendly, 3D printed concrete homes.
About three years ago when Rob Smith, a retired auto body shop owner, and Mario Szczepanski, a design engineer for storm water filtration systems, first started S-Squared 3D Printers Inc. of Long Island and set up shop in Medford the focus was solely on 3D printing working with local libraries and school districts. They began with their first printer then designed a few others with a goal of making 3D printing more accessible and affordable.
That was until their marketing person turned COO with a background in CNC, Mike Giametta introduced them to friend Sal Pane, a chief safety officer, with an idea of a lifetime. “I’ve seen houses being built in warehouses with panels and then put together on site and I thought that was so dumb. Why not do it all in one shot on site,” he said of his thought process to 3D print homes with concrete on site.
“I thought it was just another crazy idea but he laid out his plan and we spent 5 hours or so on the conceptual design and we said 'we can do this,'” added Szczepanski, who said the design was a group effort. “And from that moment to now it’s been a wild ride.”
Fast forward to about 6 months ago, the team of brilliant minds found an investor/owner of Prestige Worldwide Inc., a company that buys startup companies with potential, and set them up in a shop located on West Main Street in Patchogue to build their machine.
Now, after a lot of designing and engineering, they have created a one of a kind, state-of-the-art concrete printer with the capability to construct residential homes and buildings robotically.
The new division, dubbed S-Squared 4D Commercial, created the eco-friendly printer, they are calling “atlas” not only to build a home in as little as 72 hours but to also possess the structural integrity to last one hundred years or more.
“The design meets and exceeds all the specs of state and federal regulations,” explained Pane, a safety officer in the bio-medical industry. Specifically, he continued, the machine pours concrete with virtually no air bubbles, creating a product that is 200 percent stronger with a 70 percent reduction of cost as opposed to traditional construction.
In addition, a 3 bedroom/1 bath home is expected to yield a for sale price as low as $99,000. The company says, the cutting edge technology has the potential to be the next big thing to help improve community infrastructure with practically zero carbon footprint. By reducing the manpower and resources, the home printer can build a house in a fraction of the time, which reduces the impact on the environment all while cutting costs and using eco-friendly materials and methods.
“Long Island is the most expensive place to live. We want nothing more than to be able to build houses for $30,000, barebones, or $100,000 at the high end,” explained Pane. “Our construction is 80 cents cheaper on the dollar than traditional construction.”
According to Pane, the company is waiting for a utility patent, which should be issued within the next two weeks or so and all that is left is to find a town or village that will partner with them to create the homes allowing for the type of construction within their code. He said they are even willing to build the first home for free with donated concrete materials and even donated land in exchange for the approval.
If not, he said, states are already offering to pay the company to relocate and begin construction. However, he said, he hopes to see Patchogue Village and/or Brookhaven Town allow their construction type so that they can keep the project home.
If approved, Pane explained, that more high paying jobs such as engineering jobs would be created while the cost of labor would dramatically decrease, and it would not take away from jobs such as plumbing, electrical and finish work that would still need to be done.
“Our hope is to be a part of a growing movement to create jobs to keep young adults from leaving Long Island,” added Giametta. “We are thrilled to be at the next phase of our plan to build affordable homes and businesses here on Long Island and worldwide.”
In addition to the all the possibilities of 3D printing and with the help of their CEO and chief technology officer James Michel and media director Constantine Chutis, the company also offers virtual reality tours of the homes that will be built as well as VR experiences of the building process.
Currently, plans are being made to build a 25,000 square foot facility using the mobile concrete building printer. The new state-of-art-facility would provide more than 50 full time jobs in the fields of engineering, graphic design, software management, computer programming, and more.
For more info about S-Squared 4D Commercial house printing, Visit: www.sq4d.com
For more info about S-Squared 3D Personal Printers, Visit: www.sq3d.com.
More information to come in next week’s edition of The Long Island Advance.
Like what you have read? Click here to subscribe to the Long Island Advance so you can read more stories like this, and find out everything that’s going on in your town!