The potential of open source 3D printed housing and community


This morning I was interviewed on the Mornings program about open source 3D printed houses.

You can view a video of the segment by clicking on the image below.

We primarily discussed the fantastic Wikihouse project, which provides Creative Commons plans for parts which can be 3D printed or machine cut and readily assembled to build inexpensive homes.

The genesis of Wikihouse was in addressing housing affordability in the UK, however it is now a global movement, enabling both individuals and communities to inexpensively build homes.

Open source concepts are at the heart of the project, freely providing plans with a license that means that improvements must be shared back with the community.

Yet this approach for house-building is only enabled by 3D printing and machine cutting, allowing digital plans to be easily made into the components from which the buildings can be constructed.

Open source evolved from the world of software and has now been applied across many other domains including physical objects.

3D printing has until recently been limited to fairly small-scale objects, however this is being rapidly scaled up.

Given the broader scope of these technologies, housing seems like an obvious application, and Wikihouse a fantastic initiative in this space.

Where else can open source plans and 3D printing be applied to bring value to communities?