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Building the future of Detroit’s first 3D-Printed home.

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Local architect Bryan Cook, the driving force behind Develop Architecture, joined forces with the nonprofit organization Citizen Robotics to bring this concept to life. Their mission: is to fill the city’s empty lots with affordable and aesthetically fitting housing solutions. In the heart of Detroit’s Islandview area, during this year’s Detroit Month of Design, their vision took shape—a 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom cottage designed to blend seamlessly with the neighborhood’s architectural vernacular. Stucco panels, a pitched wooden roof, and a welcoming front porch pay homage to the city’s residential heritage. Citizen Robotics, led by the father-daughter duo Evelyn and Tom Woodman, deployed a robot once used in an automotive factory in Chicago to construct the home’s walls. These walls are reinforced with a mass-timber frame, ensuring structural integrity. Remarkably, once these walls pass their load-bearing tests, the frame can be removed, paving the way for future design iterations—a testament to the home’s adaptability.
A Vision for the Future

Citizen Robotics harbors ambitions of disrupting the home building industry with this groundbreaking technology. Yet, unlike other 3D-printed homes featuring unconventional designs, this Detroit gem stays true to the neighborhood’s character. The focus isn’t just on revolutionizing construction but on creating homes that harmonize with their surroundings.

Building this 3D-printed home was a feat of efficiency. The structure was printed within five days at Citizen’s facility in Southwest Detroit and assembled on-site in just a day and a half—a stark contrast to traditional construction timelines. While construction costs were slightly higher, the team’s goal was to match or beat the price per square foot of stick-built homes. They aim to achieve not only upfront cost savings but also enhanced thermal efficiency to keep utility bills affordable.

Set to be priced in line with the neighborhood’s median income of $49,700, the Islandview home represents a pivotal step in addressing Detroit’s housing challenges. It marks the beginning of what Cook and Citizen Robotics hope will be a series of 3D-printed homes across the city. Their vision extends beyond affordable housing—it aims to bring stability, sustainability, and exceptional design to the housing industry.
Empowering the Future. Detroit’s 3D-printed home project also holds the promise of new tech job opportunities and education. By sharing their technology, Cook and Citizen Robotics aim to accelerate home construction and contribute to affordable housing. Their use of off-the-shelf components ensures replicability, making this innovative approach accessible. It’s a project that paves the way for automated robots to build houses, potentially creating tech jobs for Detroit’s diverse community.

This remarkable endeavor not only redefines Detroit’s skyline but also reinvigorates its spirit. As Bryan Cook aptly states, “The 3D nature of this house and the potential of its manufacturing, that’s an inherent part of Detroit.” It’s a testament to the resilience and innovation that define the Motor City.

Beginner’s guide to 3D Printing miniatures model to masterpiece

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Before delving into the intricacies of 3D printing miniatures, it’s essential to understand the fundamental principles of this fascinating technology. While various 3D printing methods exist, we’ll primarily focus on two: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (resin). These are the go-to choices for creating detailed miniature models.

Choosing Your 3D Printing Technology

FDM Technology: FDM 3D printers work by extruding layers of 3D printer filament to build your design. While FDM printers can certainly produce miniatures, achieving the level of detail required may demand meticulous calibration and post-processing.

Resin Technology: Resin 3D printers, on the other hand, use a liquid resin to create highly detailed prints. These printers are renowned for their ability to capture intricate designs with precision, making them the preferred choice for miniature enthusiasts.

Slicing Your Miniature Model

Once you have your 3D model ready, the next step is slicing it into printable layers. This is where a 3D printer slicer comes into play. Not all slicers are compatible with resin printers, but there are specialized options like the Lychee slicer designed for this purpose.

  1. Download and Install the Slicer: Begin by visiting the download section of the Mango3d website and install the appropriate slicer version for your operating system.
  2. Create an Account and Add Your Printer: After installation, create an account and add your 3D printer to the slicer software.
  3. Import Your 3D Model: Add your miniature’s 3D model by either dragging and dropping it into the workspace or going to File > Import 3D File.

The Advantages of Resin Printing for Miniatures

While both FDM and resin 3D printers can be used for printing miniatures, resin printers often steal the spotlight due to several key advantages:

  1. Exceptional Detail: Resin 3D printers excel at reproducing fine textures and intricate details, such as sharp edges, critical for achieving stunning miniature prints.
  2. Smooth Surfaces: Resin prints boast smooth surfaces, reducing the need for extensive post-processing work.
  3. Support Removal: Resin prints are easier to support removal, especially for delicate parts, ensuring a higher-quality final product.

No matter the type of miniature you intend to print, the steps outlined in this guide will serve as your foundation. Keep in mind that the choice of 3D printer and settings will influence the final output. So, embark on your 3D printing journey and unlock the world of miniature masterpieces.

Mango3d Website, Lychee Slicer.