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Startup 3D-Prints Russian Home, Hopes To Expand 'To Mars'

  • Antoine Blua

It took just 24 hours for the 3D-printing company Apis Cor to build this house.

A home-building newbie is earning headlines for the Russian-designed 3D-printer technology that it used to erect a small house near Moscow in just a day.

Apis Cor boasts it can quickly put up the walls of many more such dwellings while cutting costs and eliminating the need for human labor until it's time for finishing touches like roofs and windows.

The project has drawn coverage in Western media from Time, The Washington Post, and Mashable, which called the construction feat "impressive."

Apis Cor founder Nikita Chen-yun-tai with his company's revolutionary 3D-printer equipment.

Apis Cor founder Nikita Chen-yun-tai with his company's revolutionary 3D-printer equipment.

Apis Cor was founded by Russian Nikita Chen-yun-tai, the inventor of the printer, but is now based in San Francisco.

It announced in February its completion of "the first house printed using mobile 3D printing technology," pumping out a 38-square-meter dwelling at its test facility in Stupino, near the Russian capital, in around 24 hours from what Time described as "layers of a concrete mixture that lasts for 175 years."

It estimated the cost at $10,134, a figure that prompted Quartz Media to describe it as "an exceedingly affordable solution for building new houses." The company cites potential uses in low-cost housing, emergency shelter, and disaster relief.

Previous projects have tended to employ robotic technology to place brick or other preconstructed materials.

On its website, Apis Cor says it plans to begin 3D-printing houses in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia, and "even in Antarctica if needed."

"Our goal is to become the biggest international construction company to solve problems of accommodation around the globe," Chen-yun-tai is quoted as saying. "When there won't be enough space on Earth for humanity to live, we are ready to be first to start building on Mars."

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