Although 3D printed houses or cities are likely years away, two Swiss architects (their imagination and algorithms) and a Voxeljet large-format printer (a type of 3D printer) have created a 172-square-foot room from 11 tons of sand and some adhesive. Another use of 3D printers could be the creation of affordable housing, according to Behrokh Khoshnevis, director of the industrial engineering graduate program at the University of Southern California. He also envisions robotics as helping to improve on our "slow, labor intensive, and inefficient" construction model by placing concrete and roofing materials more efficiently.

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