The Dubbo Regional Council is moving forward with a proposed trial of 3D printed houses to potentially help ease the lack of supply of homes in the region.
The proposal has now moved to the next stage, with councillors voting at the last meeting to set aside up to four residential blocks from a land release at Keswick to enable a trial of 3D printed housing stock, subject to regulatory guidelines.
The council has requested the Chief Executive Officer prepare a report for their September 2022 meeting that outlines any regulatory issues associated with 3D printed housing in NSW and Australia, along with a framework of legislative requirements of a 3D printed house trial.
Dubbo Regional councillor Matt Wright has been driving the proposal and hopes it could potentially help ease supply shortages across the region.
“I’m planting the seed in readiness for what we hope might be something we can see in our city in the next year or two,” Mr Wright told the ABC.
“We’re starting to see 3D printing emerge through the automotive industry with printing of cars, medical for operation purposes. It’s pretty much got unlimited potential.
“We’re now starting to see larger-scale projects like housing emerging in a number of countries around the world.”
Building times have continued to increase over the past 18 months, exacerbated by materials and labour shortages.
Mr Wright hopes 3D printing can help reduce construction times considerably.
“There are a number of companies around the world suggesting they could have a house printed within a few days,” he said.
“Cost efficiency is another plus, we’re talking about machines that can precisely calculate the amount of materials that are required so wastage can be zero in some cases.
“That’s massive cost savings.”
While critics have said 3D printing will negatively impact jobs in the construction industry, Mr Wright said there’s still a large human element in building a 3D printed home.
“I know some people are concerned that this would put some people out of jobs but you still need plumbers, electricians, plasterers to work on these houses depending on the finish you’d like,” he said.