Author : Morrow Brady

The beauty of my living room design was the simplicity of it’s vacuous two storey cube. High with expectation, I entered the freshly printed room for the first time. What I saw made me stagger.

A spaghetti junction of alienesque shapes swarmed frozen throughout the room, bastardising the purity of my cubic design. The tubular, six sided shapes randomly speared through the cube like a game of cheese grater kerplunk. Child-sized tubes honeycombed the walls while others pierced through to adjacent bedrooms. The extreme ones curved upon themselves in knots and slides.

I collapsed, shocked, on a coffee table sized cell running through the two day print cycle for answers.

My dream of designing and building my own home became conceivable when councils approved 3D printing as a viable building method and started printing whole communities. It took me 30 days to model my new home design on my computer and two days to print.

The viscous printing medium that would harden to capture my living spaces was a concoction of self healing, all natural, fast drying polymers with fibre-optic filaments and lithiumene. The filaments let sunlight through for daytime illumination and lithiumene absorbed the sun’s energy through networked battery molecules, wirelessly powering my needs.

My prototyped external wall finish with it’s pitted furrows designed to foster microclimates and channel condensate into storage, gave my ingot shaped house a wrinkled appearance, making it look like a box grown brain.

With the design complete, I rented and erected a HomeJet 3D Printer onsite. Painted black with industrial yellow diagonal danger stripes, it straddled the epoxy floor slab like some gargantuan preying mantis. At noon, the first of many buzzing polymer laden AirDrones arrived and taxied down the infrared delivery path. Once the drone had finished decanting it’s syrupy white cargo into the HomeJet hopper, I loaded my 3D house model into the JetHead and hit print.

Following a diagnostic check, the JetHead traversed the main support beam, performing vertical manoeuvres while the gantry rolled down site to the starting position. With a humming buzz, the hopper pump delivered polymer to the JetHead and during the wait, time seemed to stop. With a controlled lurch, the JetHead started a mesmerising dance. The fixed outer jet nozzles oozed two sausage sized parallel lines of glistening fresh white polymer. A central jet nozzle between them oscillated, oozing a zigzag stream of polymer that coalesced, uniting all three streams to form a load bearing external wall.

Twenty minutes later the JetHead completed it’s first lap, giving me my first glimpse of the size of my future home. It was going to be big. The remaining print time on the JetHead was 47 hours and 59 minutes.

Seated on the hexagonal cell and surrounded by my corrupted bee hive interior, I commenced trawling through the JetHead model for answers. My home model was there but so too was something else. A residual model in the memory, left by the last user. It had commingled with my home like jelly dropped into a milk crate. I scanned the logs to isolate it and there it was. Buzzy Bee Nursery Playground.

Purists believed 3D house printers symbolised an end to craftsmanship. However in time, my home’s insectoid simplicity sparked a new wave in home design – Insectism.

The judging panel’s summary went…

‘The house displays homely scale with delightful play. Childlike in its performance, the seemingly accidental attention to detail within the hexagonal sculptural forms, evoke strength and unity through chaos’

I smiled as I stepped up to collect my award for home of the year.

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