Urban Igloo’s and Affordable Housing

We interviewed Ed Macnab with 3D Printed Homes Corporation 3DPHC; Silver Sponsors at the SmartMTX and integral contributors to the 3D Printing of an onsite microstructure. They are a pre-revenue start-up with the intention to start building their first homes in 2023. We asked Ed about 3DPHC attending the SmartMTX and his answer was far beyond networking!

Q: What’s your main reason for exhibiting at SmartMTX?

A: SmartMTX will be the Pilot demonstration of our technology. All potential solutions to Canada’s housing crisis need to be explored and validated. This technology, if widely adopted, has the potential to make a real and fundamental difference. We need forward-thinking homeowners and Affordable Housing providers to sign on as Early Adopters.

Q: Who do you want to connect with at the show and why? 

A: We are looking for three groups of people; homeowners who want a backyard suite, Affordable Housing agencies that need to stretch their budgets, and investors who are willing to take up our social cause.

Q: What solution(s) are you exhibiting and who are they designed for?

A: In addition to showcasing the technical possibilities, we will be printing semi-portable public washroom to be deployed in Edmonton at street level. The structure is house-shaped, though smaller and has enough plumbing and wiring to demonstrate how such things are done in a printed structure. The unit will end up in Edmonton as a demo unit for our partner Green Violin YEG. Green Violin has hopes of utilizing this structure as it develops further prototyping for an Urban Igloo. These are intended to be deployed in place of tent cities; offering a structure that is far safer than tents and can be better controlled by authorities. 

Q: Do you offer any special training for your solutions? 

A: As our company grows and expands, we will provide extensive training in robotic construction to expand our reach. We are already working with students at Strathcona Tweedsmuir School to introduce young people to both social conscience and digital design.

Q: What customer pain points are you solving and why?

A: There are three large impediments to the creation of more Affordable Housing; material cost, speed (or lack thereof) of construction, and persistent labour shortages. Automation of the early stages of construction addresses some of the labour shortages and the use of a single material, produced on-site and as needed addresses the material costs. Construction 3D Printing is extremely fast. We can print the vertical walls of a 1000 square foot house in 24-48 hours.

Q: What is the advantage of your solution over the competition?

A: Competition is largely the status quo. Our solution addresses three well-known and nearly intractable impediments to the creation of more housing, labour shortages, material cost, and protracted build times.

Q: Can existing systems integrate with your solution? 

A: Very much so. At this point, Construction 3D Printing is best suited for the erection of vertical walls. Interior finishing, plumbing, electrical and such will still be done using skilled labour.

For more information on 3DPHC’s technology and potential benefits for the Canadian housing economy please read this article, published in the Alberta Additive Manufacturing Network “What do you get when you combine ambition, compassion, water, cement, and a large robot?”

To contact 3DPHC visit www.3dphc.ca, follow them on LinkedIn, or contact them directly at emacnab(at)3dphc.ca.

Posted: January 26, 2023

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