3D-printed homes, cabin accommodation plans forge ahead in Dubbo
Dubbo could soon be Australia’s 3D printed capital, with plans underway for a block of 3D-printed houses, public toilets, and a holiday park with 100 cabins.
Plans for the holiday park feature 100 honeycomb-shaped cabins to be built using five giant 3D printers, and would take up 12 hectares just across from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The project is being proposed by the company Contour3D, which says it will be the first 3D-printed holiday park in Australia.
The printers can stretch up 16 metres in height and 25 metres in length, and are capable of being wheeled into Dubbo to print directly on site.
Contour3D chief executive Nick Holden said his company hoped to start printing next year, pending approval.
“I’m oversimplifying it, but it’s like a desktop printer but larger,” Mr Holden said.
“The printer will put the foundations down, we’ll pour a small slab, and then the 3D printer will come in and construct layer by layer the eco cabins.”
He said the idea for the holiday park came as a flash of inspiration when holidaying in Dubbo with his children.
The park would also feature a water park, pool, barbecue area and office blocks.
Mr Holden said a fully fitted out cabin would cost about $50,000 to manufacture from the ground up.
He said the cost of a night’s stay in the holiday park would likely be about $300.
Houses are being 3D printed internationally, including in the US, Italy and Netherlands, and in January, Australia’s first 3D-printed house was constructed in Melbourne in just three days.
Mr Holden said his company would build its first full-sized 3D printed house in Victoria in February next year, with more housing projects currently in the pipeline.
He said the cost of 3D printing a house was roughly 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than a comparably sized house built with bricks and mortar.
Mayor Mathew Dickerson said he believed the technology was at the point where it would be cheaper to print than to build the traditional way.
He said there was “a great deal of chatter” among councillors regarding the potential for 3D printing to alleviate Australia’s housing shortages and affordability woes.
The council has set aside four blocks of land exclusively for 3D-printed houses.
Mr Dickerson said the council had received an “unbelievable” number of offers from tech companies to print the houses.
He said Dubbo was leading the way when it came to 3D-printed buildings in Australia, and was confident that other council areas would be following suit.
Mr Dickerson said 3D printing could be a cheaper, more eco-friendly solution to Australia’s housing shortage and affordability woes.
“I’m at a local government conference at the moment; we had people coming up to myself and some of the councillors asking about 3D printing,” Mr Dickerson said.
“It’s certainly something that people across the state, probably across the nation, are interested to see what happens in Dubbo.”
The council has also tendered for a toilet block at the local Lions Park to be printed and open to the public by the end of the year.
Temporary toilets will be available at Sir Roden Cutler Park and Ollie Robbins Oval while demolition and construction works continue.
Mr Dickerson said the four blocks of land were expected to be released by mid 2023 for 3D printed homes.