3D printing seems to be everywhere these days, but usually it's just for making small machines or mechanical parts. Now a professor from the University of Southern California says that we need to think bigger, and has developed a system to print entire buildings in less than a single day.
Contour Crafting uses what is essentially a giant 3D printer that hangs over the space the home will occupy, building up the walls using layers of concrete. The machine can add plumbing and electrical wiring as it goes, leaving a completed shell needing just windows and doors to complete. There are even ways to robotically paint the walls and add tiling to floors and walls.
Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis say that Contour Crafting will allow for low cost housing that's cheap and fast to build, with far lower labor costs, and with less chance of construction workers being injured in the process. He sees it being especially valuable for eliminating slums in developing countries and for areas ravaged by earthquakes or other natural disasters, but says the process can be adapted for more luxurious homes and even large buildings.
Because the design is determined by a computer program, custom architectural features can be added or changed with a few clicks of a mouse, so you don't end up with a house identical to all your neighbors.
In the video you can see an animation showing how the process works starting from around 4:30.