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Thu, 14 Jun 2018

The community, being built in the Netherlands, will likely be remembered as the world’s first group of habitable 3D-printed houses.

There have been several other buildings constructed around the world using a 3D printer, but these are the first ones, the group claims, that will be ready to fully accommodate humans. 20 applicants have already expressed their interest in renting the homes, which will be ready for occupants next year.

The five Dutch houses will be built in a quiet district of Eindhoven in the Netherlands as part of the “Project Milestone” collaboration between The Eindhoven University of Technology and several other partners, all of whom will be making sure that the homes meet comfortable living standards.

The first set of houses will only be 1 story tall, but as the process develops, the designers believe that the concrete houses could be up to 3 stories. Additionally, as the construction process becomes more refined, the housing designs can become more intricate and personalized depending on the individual’s needs.

The 3D-printed homes that made headlines back in 2016 used a similar design and concept, except they were not nearly as durable, since the houses were made using clay. While this did make them dirt cheap and ideal for emergency housing in poorer regions of the world, the same design could not be used in urban settings.

The price of the Project Milestone houses has not been publicized, although officials say that as the initiative becomes more popular, the prices will become cheaper.

“3D-printing of concrete is a potential game changer in the building industry,” said a spokesperson for Eindhoven University.

“Besides the ability to construct almost any shape, it also enables architects to design very fine concrete structures. Another new possibility is to print all kinds, qualities and colours of concrete, all in a single product.”

The precise nature of a 3D-printer also means that the houses require much less material than if they were built with human hands. This not only saves money, but it also cuts down on harmful carbon emissions from the concrete.

“We need a technical revolution in the constructing area to respond to the shortage of skilled bricklayers in the Netherlands and all over the world,” Rudy van Gurp, a manager of the construction company in charge of the project, told CNN. “3D printing makes things quicker, better, cheaper and more sustainable by using less material. It also fosters creativity and freedom in the design.”



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Wed, 30 May 2018

Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will unveil South Africa’s most sophisticated satellite on Tuesday ahead of its launch in India in July.

The nanosatellite, dubbed ZACUBE-2, was developed by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the French South African Institute of Technology as a follow-up to the previous nanosatellite, ZACUBE-1, which was launched from Yasny Launch Base in Russia.

At 4kg, ZACUBE-2 is significantly heavier than ZACUBE-1, which weighed 1.2kg. It is the fourth satellite which SA has launched.

Its dimensions are also larger than ZACUBE-1 at 10cm x 10cm x 30cm and it will circle Earth 550km up in a polar orbit.


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Fri, 25 May 2018

After a visit to the rainforests of Borneo, physicist and engineer Topher White was struck by the sounds of the forest. In particular, the noises he couldn’t hear.

While on a walk, White and others came across an illegal logger sawing down a tree just a few hundred meters away from a ranger station.

This incident set White thinking that perhaps the best way to save the Earth’s precious rainforest is to listen to its loggers and poachers. The innovation he came up with, Rainforest Connection, uses old cell phones to help to save the planet in a big way.


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