A typical single-family home in the US takes an average of six and a half months to build, according to the Census Bureau's latest survey. Now an Austin-based startup called Icon can erect a house nearly 200 times faster--in a day. To be fair, the company is building houses that max out at 800 square feet, but that's not the limit. The hyperspeed fabrication is the work of a megasize 3-D printer--picture a MakerBot on steroids--named the Vulcan. Engineers run digital blueprints for the home through so-called slicer software, which translates the design into the programming language G-code.
You may not realize it until you've listened to one for 19 hours straight, but a 3D printer can be noisy. Much like the dot matrix printers of old, 3D printers have mechanisms that move, squeak, squeal, grind, and spew. But if you had to sit next to one all day, it would be painful. Forget being able to have a clear conversation on the phone, writing a complex white paper, or doing other work that requires clarity of thought. Whether you're new to 3D printing or an old hand, ZDNet's 3D Printing Discovery Series will help you understand and get the most out of this amazing, accessible technology.
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Welcome to ZDNet's DIY-IT project lab, where I'm testing 3D printers for your entertainment and edification. Today, we'll be looking at the Creality Sermoon D1, an enclosed, direct-drive FDM printer from the makers of the super-popular CR-10 and Ender 3. Which 3D printer is right for your business? We've evaluated the offerings of leading printers, all capable of creating 3D objects, but with a wide-range of characteristics. If you're in the market for a 3D printer, you'll find one here that fits your needs. This article and the accompanying video are part of ZDNet's 3D Printing Discovery Series.