FMTC Introduces 3D Printing Hardware and Housing Capabilities | New

(Stanton) – A small community in southwestern Iowa has gained insight into the possible future of housing development.

The Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton recently obtained a large, new, industrial 3D printer, which the operators recently presented to area mayors, city officials and economic development officials late last week. FMTC CEO Kevin Cabbage told KMA News that the printer found its way to Stanton after his company helped create a start-up, Alquist 3D. He adds that the company has already printed two houses using a concrete mix in Virginia. Cabbage says one of the long-term goals is to bring that printing capacity to Iowa.

“We don’t have a specific timeline in mind because we want to prove it here in Iowa and get all the techniques and procedures in place before we commit to printing a house,” Cabbage said. “But it’s definitely on our radar screen to do as soon as we’re ready.”

As a minority owner of the print shop, Cabbage says they had the opportunity to bring the printer to Iowa in hopes of seeing how the building material performs in the environment. Thus, he adds that FMTC hired a person to manage the printer.

“How it works, but more importantly it works with the concrete mix itself, because it’s a different type of concrete mix,” Cabbage said. “But it’s still concrete and all the concrete made in our environment.”

Additionally, Cabbage says FMTC hopes to use the printer to provide cost savings in its own materials for fiber-to-the-home projects.

“One of the main elements of the buried vaults that we use to run our fiber optic materials,” Cabbage said. “So we are prototyping with manufacturing our own materials for ourselves just to help us better control the price and availability of these products as we continue to move forward with our fiber optic construction in South West Iowa.”

While concrete homes aren’t new, Cabbage adds that the new method of printing offers the ability to meet one want and need among several surrounding needs with a potentially more cost-effective process.

“The printer really opens up the creativity to use it as much as possible in the building process,” Cabbage said. “The intention, hopefully, is that we can find a way to reduce the initial costs of homes so that we can continue to see new homes being built.”

Other 3D printing efforts designed to boost housing include Iowa State University’s Innovative Tech Affordable 3D Housing Project, which aims to build a 40-unit development in Hamburg to help recover from flooding. of 2019.

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