A 3D-printing revolution looks set to shake up the caravan park industry … with the New South Wales city of Dubbo at the epicentre!
Plans to build the world’s first 3D-printed holiday park on a 30-acre site opposite the Taronga Western Plains Zoo are already well advanced, with ‘construction’ due to start next year.
The company behind the project, Contour 3D, says the vision is to incorporate 50-100 spacious luxury 3D-printed eco-cabins into the park, alongside large caravan areas with 3D-printed ensuites, as well as a 3D-printed kids’ playground, barbecue, kitchen, and amenities blocks.
“The cabins are designed to complement the landscape and be like nothing else ever seen in this market space,” the company said.
“Each ecocabin is carefully designed and built to withstand Australia’s harsh conditions and climate, providing strength, thermal control and durability for future generations.”
So, what exactly is 3D printing?
Basically, it is the computer-controlled sequential layering of materials to create three-dimensional shapes. Contour 3D says the process begins with a design created using CAD software.
“Our intelligent software will then convert this model into a language that the printer can understand and off it goes,” the company’s website said. “Our 3D printable concrete, with a composition specifically developed for this purpose, is printed layer by layer, without the need for any formwork.”
While a 3D-construction printer will build internal and external structures, Contour 3D says windows, doors, electrical and plumbing are still installed afterwards using traditional methods … at least for now.
And it says major builds can be done in weeks rather than in months.
For many grey nomads, of course, the most important questions will be: Does this make van park facilities cheaper to build? And, if so, will it mean site fees will come down?
In theory, the build should be significantly cheaper. Some reports suggest that, for example, the cost of 3D printing a house is approximately 20-30% cheaper than a comparably sized house built with bricks and mortar.
But as to whether the 3Dprinted holiday park concept catches on, and whether it ultimately leads to cheaper van park fees, it’s very much a matter of … ‘watch this space’.
Incidentally, 3D-printed holiday parks may not be the only way the revolutionary technology could be about to rock the grey nomad world. All the way back in 2018, a Canadian team printed a 13’ plastic caravan weighing 270 kilograms in just nine days.
At the time, they said that being able to produce the camper in one solid piece meant it didn’t have any seams, and so was airtight and waterproof. And ‘The Wave’, as it was called, was said to have a 100- year life expectancy!
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