RedWorks will be presenting at the 2018 International Space Station Research and Development Conference! Our team began to create innovations in the NASA Habitat Challenge, and we're excited to continue to be involved in the community of innovators NASA has fostered to address challenge on Earth and in Space.
If you're looking to attend, ISSRDC will be held July 23–26 at the Marriott Marquis, located at 780 Mission St., in San Francisco, California. RedWorks will be presenting on July 25th.
Hope to see you there!
RedWorks is looking for skilled engineers to join our team. We're looking for people experienced in electrical engineer and induction heating technologies, motivated to complete challenging new tasks, and driven to make their mark developing game changing technology. In the startup environment of RedWorks, you'll be play an important role designing, fabricating and assembling 3D printing products for the construction industry. This is an early role, one with room to grow and take on new challenges and responsibilities as the company's trajectory advances to change the face of construction manufacturing.
An electrical engineer with RedWorks is responsible for working in a consultative fashion with the founders to address electrical engineering challenges in the development of additive manufacturing technologies and products.
Education and Experience
Building enough affordable housing is an ongoing struggle in many cities throughout the US. While there are numerous factors at play that work to increase the cost of housing, the cost of constructing new homes is a significant piece of the puzzle that can keep new affordable housing from being built in the first place.
However, if home building costs could somehow be reduced significantly, it would stand to reason that these savings could make affordable housing more viable for developers, charities, and local governments to implement.
Why Is Building so Expensive?
In traditional building, materials must be sourced, created and/or fabricated, then transported to a building site. Once there, they are laboriously assembled. For instance, in the case of cement blocks, the "ingredients" must first be first transported to a manufacturer. There, in massive facilities, they are made into the cinder blocks. Lastly, those heavy blocks are transported to the building site.
Once the cement blocks arrive at a site, they must be built into walls for houses. This and other costs can add up quickly. Pouring a cement slab costs around $5 per foot. Building the shell, which is typically contains a wood frame with sheathing for doors, windows, roofing and other features, costs around $20 to $30 per foot. Professional masonry construction workers must then build the homes using the materials delivered to the site. Since there are so many different construction materials involved, along with the labor costs to put it all together, building costs can and have become quite expensive. These costs ultimately must transfer to the buyer of a building if the developer wants to turn a profit.
3D Printing Cuts Transportation Costs
When masonry is 3D printed on-site, there is no need to transport bulky building materials to a building site. This means less time spent transporting materials and far lower fuel costs, and eliminates costs related to mining and factory processes. Equipment like RedWorks' manufacturing technology allows builders to make masonry parts entirely on-site. Builders can often use local resources including sand, dirt and dust to create the housing materials that are needed to create the different parts or walls of a home.
Cutting Labor Costs and Delays
Labor is expensive, especially masonry professionals or wood framers that are involved in building a traditional home. Instead of a process that takes weeks or months due to unexpected delays often caused by shipping, 3D printing can be completed on-site to the correct specifications in a few hours or days.
Cutting Construction Waste
Construction waste is a serious concern in traditional home building. This waste can include a range of materials, including:
Costs associated with building add up quickly, and buyers - whoever they are - eventually have to foot the bill. By finding avenues to streamline the construction process, more affordable housing can be constructed while still turning a profit. In addition, organizations, governments, and charities that look to foot the bill to create affordable housing may be able to purchase more with their budgets. While 3D printing might still seem alien to many, its potential benefits are undeniable - and that's something worth sharing.
Preston Guyton is a native of the Grand Strand and Broker in Charge/Managing Partner of CRG Companies.
"RedWorks’ vision for efficient 3D building materials is so exciting, it gets me thinking how quickly the way the world builds affordable and multi-purpose homes will change. Selfishly, I'm looking forward to the home my wife and I will build using RedWorks as we retire and downsize. The options and affordability will be amazingly useful."
-Hank Stringer, Stringer Executive Search
Hank’s desire to downsize is becoming a common sentiment among people with kids out of the house and retirement approaching. A large portion of the population now finds themselves with homes that are no longer suited to their needs. When we speak to people in this position we always hear about how a home for 2.3 kids has become an expensive empty shell once they’re gone, with too much space and too much upkeep. Hank and others have described a desire among people their age to not only downsize, but to find a more practical and desirable home. “Tiny houses,” while more manageable, have drawbacks in that their spartan designs and limited footprints prevent them from taking advantage of existing utilities. Larger singlewide trailer homes don’t have the drawbacks of tiny-homes, but their standard designs aren’t desirable to homeowners looking to downsize. What is needed is a way to build homes that offer the low cost and practicality of a trailer home, with the attractive features of a tiny home. Furthermore, this solution must not only be used to build single properties, but communities that have the infrastructure to support their residents with the utility conveniences of full sized homes. Too often downsizing becomes a burden, as homeowners must either accept the high cost of traditionally built homes, communities with poorer infrastructure than they’re used to, or lonely plots without the community older homeowners desire.
Our team is already working to make construction less costly and more adaptable by giving builders the power to make materials on-site, and this capability will be essential to making downsizing more affordable and practical. On-site 3d printing will also enable builders to create infrastructure more cheaply as well. The same dirt excavated to build walls, foundations, and roofing, can also be used to build drainage systems, sidewalks, and roads. Developers will have the means to build the kinds of communities older homeowners want, at a cost that won’t break the bank for builders, or make smaller homes too expensive for prospective buyers to downsize in the first place. We see our technology helping to create a new generation of villages and hamlets, literally from the ground up, where people like Hank can settle into retirement among friends without having to sacrifice the comfort and convenience of traditional suburban communities.
Hank’s story is one of countless told by Americans nearing retirement, and construction needs to adapt to not only keep costs down but to make sure that downsizing doesn’t mean reducing quality of life. As members of the construction industry, we must work to keep innovating to lower costs down while maintaining quality as more people look to enter their golden years in a homes built for their needs.
RedWorks Construction Technologies Inc. has signed an MOU with Mars City Design LLC. to collaborate on the creation of future human habitation solutions.
MCD has been working with artists, designers, architects, and engineers to foster the creation of technologies and design solutions to create habitats for long-term human colonization of Mars. MCD offers the network of dedicated design knowledge to create habitat designs that future 3D printers can be used to implement. These designs must conform to the requirements of people living in the most hostile environments imaginable, and are the result of the skill and dedication of a network of architecture and engineering affiliates in pursuit of addressing the practical challenges of building livable habitation on Mars.
RedWorks is focused on creating products to 3D print building materials directly on-site using local sources of dirt, dust, sand, etc. (“regolith”) . Our team originally studied this technology to address long term habitation challenges in the 2015 NASA 3D Printed habitat challenge, and our goal is to bring this technology to market on Earth as a tool for masonry subcontractors and military civil engineers.
By working together, MCD and RedWorks can use our collective expertise and innovations to give people a vision for what human habitation could look like, both on Earth and beyond
RedWorks' First Quarter of 2018 has come to a close, and our company is proud to show you what we've accomplished. Check out the link below for the full newsletter and be sure to subscribe for regular updates.
CEO, Keegan Kirkpatrick spoke at the Space 2.0 panel on Commercializing Lunar and Mars technologies on April 5, and outlined how RedWorks could be seen as a case study on how startups can use space-directed research to develop groundbreaking technologies that can be used here on Earth. More and more companies are beginning to take advantage of Space as a target for innovation that can be used to solve problems on Earth, and we were glad to see Space 2.0's organizers encourage this trend toward Terrestrial First technologies.
Team RedWorks has been busy, moving into new facilities, securing our first customer, and building and testing our Beta Printer for early users, civilian and military. Right now our priority is brining ISAC to market, and to that end we've been carrying out a battery of tests on the Multi-Core Induction Extruder (M-CIE) at the heart of our machine. Part of that process has included testing a wider range of materials as feedstock; our earlier proof of concept tests used ordinary play sand, as its properties were well known and made a good control material. Now we're testing everything we can get our hands on, from pre-sifted fine grain riverbed sand to the dirt pulled out of our own backyards, complete with a healthy mix of sticks and pebbles. Each of the above samples were run under the same conditions, and each test produced samples of stone, regardless of how moist or dry the material may be, in spite of the presence of large chunks of rock and pebbles mixed in, or even if there's a mix of multiple materials. If it's pulled out of the ground, M-CIE can turn it into rock.
What our latest round of tests mean for the future of construction cannot be understated: Instead of shipping concrete or bricks to a site, or building an expensive concrete plant near-site, you can make all the masonry you'd need to build as much material of any design you want completely on-site. The entire process consumes significantly less energy than your average concrete plant of brick kiln, but more important to the contractor, this means material made with ISAC is a lot cheaper than what they can get from a distributor. Your average brick on store shelves today costs about 50 cents, but in California where the average energy cost is 12 cents/kilowatt hour, RedWorks' P-Series printers could make bricks costing as little as 1 cent per unit. 1/50th the cost for traditional masonry materials, and that's just for general purpose bricks. Imagine being able to make cinderblocks, tilt-up walls, even decorative facings all for a tiny fraction of what they cost now, without having to move anything to the site. Moreover, the fact that ISAC doesn’t have to move anything to site to make masonry is a game changer, and solves some key pain points of the construction industry, particularly for working on job sites that are a little out of the way. Developers often have to mix or make concrete on-site with either cement trucks or "portable" concrete plants. Both of these solutions are expensive, loud, and dirty, and not exactly a good way to get the neighbors on a developer’s side. ISAC solves this problem by offering a portable manufacturing system that can be delivered to site on the back of a pickup, while using whatever dirt can be found on site without any major pre-processing on the part of the builder. That's why it's so important that our machine is able to use any material we can find, it frees up builders to take advantage of remote areas rather than be constrained by them, placing fewer issues on neighboring communities and the customer while delivering projects to completion at a lower cost.
ISAC will offer builders the means to make better materials with delays, no waste, and at a cost lower than any comparable form of masonry. This is a material agnostic system. That means you don’t need to do a lot of prep work to make material, just start dumping dirt into the machine and make whatever you need in the field. Our team is still working to bring this technology to market, but the progress we've made thus far shows just how great an impact our technology can have on industry, changing the face of construction one block at a time.
A sample of RedWorksTM stone and the sand it was made from.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lancaster, California — February 19, 2018. A little less than a year ago RedWorks Construction Technologies Inc. began work on our first On-Site Material 3D Printer with a simple goal: make it possible to create whatever materials a builder could need with the dirt beneath their feet. In October of 2017 we proved that was possible with our first prototype extruder, creating granite-like material from ordinary sand. Now we are working to create a machine to change the face of construction.
RedWorksTM In-Situ Additive Construction (ISAC) 3D Printers only require on-site sources of dirt, dust, and sand to create materials that can match the strength of existing masonry. Our technology will let builders make custom, high-end stone building materials faster, cheaper, and with far less waste. Our first commercially available prototype, set to launch later this year, will be introduced for architects, universities, and government researchers looking to experiment with on-site 3D printing. These tabletop, or T-Series, printers will directly precede our larger P-Series ISAC printers which will be small enough to fit in the bed of a pickup truck and will enable commercial builders to create low-cost masonry materials on-site. ISAC will let builders create materials for high-end projects without disrupting local communities and environments with diesel burning cement trucks. Low cost housing hugging a highway can be built with thick walls to reduce noise pollution for residents and neighbors alike, when they’d otherwise be prohibitively expensive. And communities impacted by drought could create apartments and homes from blocks designed to collect rainwater and distribute it to planters that that reduce air pollution and retain water. These are just a few of the opportunities that ISAC will make possible, and fundamentally change the way we approach construction.
At the heart of the ISAC printers is RedWorksTM patent pending Multi-Core Induction Extruder (M-CIE). M-CIE is a new kind of 3D printer extrusion technology that sinters dirt and sand to a malleable state, with no water or binders, using induction heating. Put simply, induction uses a magnetic field to force the molecules in a conductive material to vibrate, generating friction and therefore heat. However, unlike past induction systems that can only use conductive metals and certain ceramics, M-CIE’s unique design uses inducting heating indirectly. Heating conductive cores within the print-head to many hundreds of degrees, dirt and sand feedstocks are continuously fed through and heated to become semi-molten and malleable. The material is then laid down like any plastic 3D printer to make whatever objects the user desires, before cooling to become rock. This is actually a fairly energy efficient process compared to current masonry production technology, requiring as little as 10 kilowatts to work. In California, energy costs are so low that a standard working brick printed using a P-Series ISAC printer would cost as little as 1/50th that of commercially available materials. Moreover, by shrinking the supply chain to the builder, ISAC will significantly reduce material shipping costs, and more importantly eliminate shipping delays for masonry.
In an industry ripe for technology that will disrupt costs and support greater flexibility, ISAC is a game changer. We hope to make ISAC the machine that empowers builders and contractors to meet the demands of an ever evolving market. From high-end projects that complement their environment, to affordable housing that raises the value of neighborhoods, ISAC will reduce building materials and costs to the dirt beneath your feet.
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RedWorks CEO, Keegan Kirkpatrick, will be speaking at Pioneers of Tomorrow: Exponential Technologies & Space for the 2018 Space Tech Summit in San Mateo California on January 24 from 3:45 - 4:15. Come see Keegan speak about how space directed research drives the creation of technologies that can improve life on Earth.
"The Space Tech Summit is a multi year initiative of Draper University, Global Startup Ecosystem and LightSpeed Innovations that brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, and creatives under one roof to address humanity’s grandest challenges via space technology. The summit also serves to bring key stakeholders that will accelerate both the exploration and commercialization of the Space ecosystem."