The automotive robot in Detroit finds a new purpose by printing houses.

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Detroit’s First 3D Printed Home: Revolutionizing the Housing Industry

Industrial decline and bankruptcy have left their scars on the city of Detroit. But amidst the remnants of a once thriving automotive manufacturing hub, a new hope is emerging – the city’s first 3D printed home. Designed by local architect Bryan Cook and brought to life by Citizen Robotics, this innovative housing solution aims to combat Detroit’s blight of vacant lots.

The 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom cottage, located in Detroit’s Islandview area, seamlessly combines modern 3D printing technology with conventional construction methods. Stucco panels, a wood-framed pitched roof, and a front porch pay homage to Detroit’s residential style, while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with 3D printing.

Citizen Robotics, an ambitious initiative by father-daughter duo Evelyn and Tom Woodman, transformed a robot from an automotive factory in Chicago into a powerful tool for 3D printing homes. The robot, equipped with specialized software and materials, meticulously crafted the walls of the Islandview home. These walls are reinforced with a mass-timber frame, ensuring structural integrity for years to come. The team also designed the lightweight roof using sustainable and thermally efficient materials.

The introduction of 3D printed homes challenges traditional stick-built construction methods. By providing an affordable alternative, this project aims to disrupt the homebuilding industry. While the construction cost was slightly higher, future iterations will optimize costs. The Islandview home will be sold at a price in line with the neighborhood’s median income, promoting affordability.

Detroit’s development ordinances currently impose limitations on land ownership. However, Citizen Robotics and Bryan Cook are eager to share their technology to expedite home building and increase affordable housing. Their vision is to bring stability, sustainability, and great design to the housing industry through 3D printing – a sentiment that resonates throughout the industry.

In a city once defined by automotive manufacturing and great techno music, these repurposed robots represent a new hope for Detroit’s housing market. With their replicable and cost-effective approach, they may pave the way for a brighter future filled with affordable, 3D printed homes.

We invite you to join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Let us know your thoughts on this groundbreaking project and the potential of 3D printing in the housing industry. Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.

Together, we can shape a future where innovation and affordability go hand in hand, transforming the way we think about housing.

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