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Technology / Sustainability

Check Out This Super Cool Sustainable 3-D Printed House and Car Combo

Check Out This Super Cool Sustainable 3-D Printed House and Car Combo
Image credit: OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY
- Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.
3 min read

Ever wanted to live completely off the grid? Thanks to the work of the architectural minds behind 1 World Trade Center and scientists from Tennessee, 3-D printing technology could one day be used to do just that.

Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee teamed up to design one of the biggest 3-D printed structures ever created -- the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy Structure, or the AMIE 1.0, Wired reports.

Check Out This Super Cool Sustainable 3-D Printed House and Car Combo

The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy structure--AMIE 1.0, for short--is a 3-D printed structure and a glimpse at how architects think we might live off-the-grid, and in the future.
Image credit: OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY

Related: For the First Time Ever, 3-D Printed Pill Receives FDA Approval

In January, AMIE made its debut at the NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas. So what's so special about it? It is a sustainable 3-D printed home and car that generate and share electricity. The car and house are linked together by a wireless charging pad that is switched on when the vehicle is parked on it.

The 3D-printed house, which looks a little like the skeleton of an Airstream trailer --  white and tubular with slotted sides -- comes equipped with lights, faucets, a stove and a refrigerator that are all powered by solar panels. When the appliances are turned off, the electricity is stored in the home's battery. The SUV also has a battery and a generator that runs on gasoline. If the sun isn't out, the structure can pull energy from its batteries.

Check Out This Super Cool Sustainable 3-D Printed House and Car Combo

AMIE is very much a prototype, but because the structure's functional "kitchen"--complete with faucets, a refrigerator, and induction stovetops--the SOM and Oak Ridge designers were able to put their concept to the test. The wireless, bidirectional energy system worked--at least, in a controlled setting.
Image credit: OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY
Related: High School Students 3-D Printed a Custom Wheelchair to Help This Resilient Little Kitten
 

The idea of sustainability has been a throughline of the project. "We were really intrigued with it because the whole idea of 3-D printing is that eventually you can design a building, and print it in a way that you have no waste," Phil Enquist, a partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, told Wired.

Enquist also believes that with a continued collaboration between the private and public sector, 3D-printed homes could be made on a broader scale as soon as next year.

Check Out This Super Cool Sustainable 3-D Printed House and Car Combo

The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy structure--AMIE 1.0, for short--is a 3-D printed structure and a glimpse at how architects think we might live off-the-grid, and in the future.
Image credit: OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY

 

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