MIT has been experimenting with 3D printed homes for nearly a decade. They continue to improve the technology behind it because of the immense benefits that it offers housing providers and to home buyers. They propose using 3D printed housing as solutions for affordability, labor supply and much more.

At least that’s the future envisioned by Larry Sass SM ’94, PhD ’00, associate professor of architecture and principal investigator of the Design Fabrication Group at MIT. Sass’s work puts him at the intersection of architecture, computational design, and digital fabrication: imagining buildings that are essentially 3-D puzzles.

Buildings constructed the old-fashioned way are expensive, slow, and labor-intensive—and generally separate the designer from the builder by a long chain of personnel. Fitting together computer-designed and machine-printed components streamlines the process, opening up possibilities for better architectural design for low-income housing; quicker recovery for disaster-induced homelessness; and a greater hand in the process for the average homeowner.

According to Sass, “The Industrial Age was all about making identical copies of one design. The Information Age is about the simple manufacturing of infinite design possibilities through the application of a finite set of rules for manufacturing.”

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