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Wed February 28 2024

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Factory turns old plastic into 3D-printed buildings

2 Feb 22 Azure Printed Homes has opened a Californian factory where a custom-made 3D-printer will use old plastic products as a primary building material.

Azure Printed Homes, which was founded by Gene Eidelman and Ross Maguire, said that the 3D home-building industry that has, thus far, been focused on concrete. Its new 15,000-square-foot factory in Culver City, California, has been developed for the manufacture of structures such as homes and backyard studios made out of repurposed plastic.

Azure's technology seeks to minimise waste by making use of plastic already intended for landfills, or that usually ends up in our oceans or that is incinerated. By using recycled materials instead of new resources, Azure aims to get closer to a circular economy's goal of making optimum use of previously used materials.

“The construction sector is the largest global consumer of raw materials, responsible for approximately 20% of the world's total carbon emissions," said Eidelman. "Our responsibility to our customers and to future generations is to use the most sustainable practices imaginable.”

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Azure claims that, through 3D printing, it will be able to build 70% faster and with 30% fewer costs than traditional home construction methods.

“We have created production efficiencies not only by capitalizing on the advances in 3D printing but by creating a design and process that is completed in only 12 hours,” said Maguire. "When compared with conventional construction, we produce the entire structural skeleton, the exterior sheathing, the water control barrier, the exterior finish, the passageways for utilities, and the grounding for interior finishes, in a fraction of the time and cost. By revolutionizing a new age of home building with our sustainable, automated and exact production processes, we see a very, very exciting future ahead.”

Azure Printed Homes is currently accepting pre-orders for both their accessory dwelling units – small dwellings in the house’s grounds - and backyard studios, with plans to begin printing full-sized homes by 2023.

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