- Lewis Yakich, a homebuilder from California, materials science engineer, and now owner of the Lewis Grand Hotel — in Angeles City, Pampanga in the Philippines — has built the world's first 3D-printed hotel suite. See photos of the suite here.
- The idea to 3-D print a suite was brought to Yakich's attention by 3-D printing expert Anthony Rudenko, who drew attention last year for using the method to construct a concrete castle. Unlike that structure, however, the Philippines hotel suite will be fully operational and open to guests.
- Yakich and Rudenko worked together to design the large 3-D printer that produces the concrete — made from volcanic ash and sand — to build the suite, which is 34.5 feet long by 41 feet wide, with a height of 10 feet.
The suite includes two bedrooms, a living room, spa and a 3-D printed Jacuzzi. The process to 3-D print the structure and manually install plumbing, rebars and wiring took a total of about 100 hours. Yakich told 3dprint.com that he is currently testing ways to 3-D print those parts as well.
Yakich has finished building the suite, but he has not yet disclosed when it will be open to guests.
Now that he has completed that project, Yakich said he plans to turn his attention to 3-D printing homes for low-income families in the Philippines. He said this use of 3-D printing is ideal, as the method can reduce construction costs by 60%. Yakich has already received permission from the Philippines government to construct 200 of these houses and hopes to raise that number to 2,000 in a few years.
It seems that 3-D printing has a long way to go before it drastically alters the construction industry, as it is still in very early stages. But for now, builders are experimenting with the new technology to find out how effective it can be at minimizing costs and building time. A technology startup in Chattanooga, TN, for example, is reportedly using the world's largest free-form 3-D printer to build walls for new homes.