Imagine printing and assembling your future home in two days without the need of major construction skills or burly contractors. ;) This idea may seem like a Jetsons episode but thanks to 3D printers and open source software, we might be printing homes before we know it!
Thanks to some innovative minds within the field, WikiHouse was born. WikiHouse is an open source construction system that lets virtually anyone download, construct and print a home. Co-founder Alastair Parvin is a 30-year old architect that wants to completely transform the field of architecture. Alastair and his co-founders are focused on making great architecture accessible to the everyday user as opposed to having it be limited and only really utilized by the wealthy.
The WikiHouse website hosts several pre-made designs that can be utilized for their future home. Because the software is open-source, users can alter their future homes as much as they’d like. Currently in development stages, WikiHouse is still receiving funding from investors. It has already gained a pretty large following of contributors and backers that are working on the project.
The printed homes work like jigsaw puzzles that are assembled and screwed together. The assembly time for a single-story home is about a day! Although there aren’t any fully inhabited WikiHouses out there just yet, Patrick Beseda and Lacy Williams did create and assemble one in Utah where they lived for a short while during their work on a reservation. Although WikiHouse designs don’t address certain aspects of building a home such as local laws, zoning restrictions and materials, the hope is to one day expand the platform to become specific to the location of users. Taking into account weather conditions will help future home designers pick what materials will be most sustainable for the weather in their area.
Although WikiHouse is still in beginning stages of revolutionizing architecture as we know it, the notion of accessibility and ease of design is truly exciting to think about. With the rapid growth and proliferation of technology, thinking about being able to print out our own homes doesn’t see like a distant dream. Ten years from now we might all be sitting in our “printed” homes…or not. Too soon to tell as of yet but the idea doesn’t seem so outrageous thanks to WikiHouse.