Using digital fabrication and some clever tricks we're able to manufacture beautiful, low cost structures which easily bolt together. You design for it like it's a big imaginary 3D printer then you and your friends get together and bolt your house together! [...]
It works like a techno version of a barn raising. — Arcology Now
Architecture start-up Arcology Now wants to provide an alternative to 3D printing building technologies, focusing on reliable materials and elbow grease. The Phoenix, Arizona group has developed a digital fabrication software that generates a framework for any 3D surface out of steel tubes and bolts. For example, if you scanned an igloo, the software would model something like one of those geodesic dome playground structures. The software also produces manufacturing and building instructions, that is then coded directly onto the individual steel bars during manufacturing.
The entire structure is then built in modules, so many people can work in parallel following the instructions on the physical materials. Arcology Now's eventual plan is to produce entire communities in this way, and is working on methods to insulate and install power distribution systems.