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Over the past few years, designers and construction companies have experimented with using large, 3D printers to build homes, offices and other structures.

  • The old thing: "Printing" building blocks and parts of homes, which are then assembled on-site.
  • The new thing: Using 3D printers to print an entire building on site.

Pros: 3D printing would help eliminate waste in construction and can use recycled materials as building materials. Homes eventually could be easily personalized, and could provide cheap, safe housing in the wake of natural disasters.

Cons: There's still a long way to go with 3D technology and building printers that are large enough to build these structures. It's difficult to meet the intricacies of building code requirements while programming the printers, and most homes that have been built are tiny and not particularly stylish.

Here are some of the most recent 3D, livable space projects.

1. Houston, Texas: Alex Le Roux designed and built a concrete 3D printer while at Baylor University in June of 2016. He then oversaw the first livable home created entirely by a 3D printer in the U.S. The "house" is 8 feet by 5 feet by 7 feet.

3ders.org

2. Austin, Texas: the American construction company Sunconomy, along with Apis Cotr — based in San Francisco and Russia — are raising money to build affordable, 3D-printed housing — one house will be given to a disabled veteran.

Sunconomy.com

3. Russia: Apis Cotr built a 3-D printed home in March. The home is 400-square-feet, took less than 24 hours to build and cost just more than $10,000.

4. Massa Lombarda, Italy: WASP set out to build the first 3D printed village — the village of Shamballa. Construction began last year, and the first house only cost 48 euros.

5. China: A 400-square meter, two-story villa was printed in 45 days on site by HuaShang Tengda last year. The structure was tested and could withstand a level 8 earthquake.

HuaShang Tengda

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands: DUS Architects constructed the 8-square meter Urban Cabin last year as part of its 3D Canal House project, which will ultimately include 13 3D-printed rooms.

Ossip van Duivenbode

Have some 3D insight? Send me an email at stef@axios.com or a tweet @stefwkight .

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."