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Becoming an Engineer.

Why You Need Boring Tests

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Need Boring Tests

When you deal with soil and construction, you need to get something called a soil boring or boring test. These tests involve boring into the soil and taking out samples so that you can evaluate whether the soil is good for building, burying a septic tank, and more. Do not skip these tests. If you do, you could find very unpleasant surprises when you go to start your construction or other work. Testing Stability One of the main reasons for completing the soil boring tests early on is that the tests will show if the soil is stable enough to build on. If you’ve been planning your dream home, the last thing you need is to find out the soil is not good for building upon right when you’re about to start building. Stability issues can range from previously unknown faults to underground water sources creating erosion (you don’t want to risk a sinkhole swallowing your house). There may be buried debris that, when dug up, requires more soil to be added to fill the space left behind. No matter the cause, unstable soil will make it difficult to build a structure. Soil Contamination Another reason for soil boring is to test for contamination. For all you know, an old septic tank lies buried and broken under that cheap land you’re looking to buy. Waste from the tank would contaminate the soil and make it unsuitable for landscaping and gardening with any edible plants, and you’d have to take special precautions if you were to walk around on the soil so that you didn’t track it back inside. It wouldn’t be very nice building a home on soil that you couldn’t let your kids or pets play on because of contamination. That Bedrock Is Closer Than You Thought One more reason to get the soil boring tests done is that you really don’t know what’s under the surface. You could have fantastic soil that drains well and that is very stable and healthy — or you could hit bedrock a lot sooner than you thought possible. Imagine trying to install a foundation and basement only to find that you’re hitting rock a lot higher than you thought you would. With the boring tests, you’ll know early on what’s going on with the soil. Sometimes there are ways to mitigate problems so that you can go ahead and start building. However, you won’t know if you need these until you get those soil boring tests done, so do those as soon as you can. For more information, talk to a professional like Uni Tech Drilling Company...

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Build a Better Pipeline: How Nickel Alloy Can Help

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Build a Better Pipeline: How Nickel Alloy Can Help

If you’re venturing into oil field operation, the setup process is essential. The integrity of the pipelines is a crucial component, as they need to be both durable and secure. One option you can consider for your pipelines is nickel alloy pipes. Here is a look at what you should know about this type of metal and why these pipes are a good choice.    Nickel Alloy Basics Nickel’s natural, pure state is white in color and very hard. Because it is so hard, you don’t typically find it used alone. Nickel alloys are a combination of nickel and other metals. You’ll find nickel alloys used in many applications, including things like the tools you’re using to build your pipeline and even magnets, coins, and more. The mixture will usually start with a significant amount of nickel as the base, and then the additional metals will be added as needed. Nickel Alloy Features There are a number of reasons to consider nickel alloy for your pipelines. Here are a few key benefits of this type of metal. Heat Resistant. Nickel is naturally resistant to heat damage, so most nickel alloys can hold up in high-heat environments without losing integrity. If there are any components of your pipeline that will be exposed to heat, nickel alloy is a great choice for those areas. Conduction Resistant. Some nickel alloys are resistant to electricity, which makes them a good choice for environments where there’s a risk of shock or other electrical hazards. A high nickel content will help to add a buffer against any electrical current. With so many different types of equipment in operation at all times on an oil field operation, this may be an important consideration. Oxidation Resistant. Nickel doesn’t oxidize easily. If you need a metal pipeline that’s going to resist oxidation and corrosion for many years to come, a pipe that contains nickel will help you do just that. This is often important for pipeline operations where some pipe segments are underground, because they’re exposed to groundwater. If you’re running them under natural water resources, nickel is a good option for that as well. Warp Resistant. Nickel, when mixed with titanium, has shape memory. That means that any titanium-nickel alloy that’s misshapen can easily be restored to its original condition simply by heating it. If you’re dealing with any hydraulic components, the pressure may necessitate that you have a metal that retains its shape. Expansion Resistant. Heat is known to cause expansion in metals. If any components of the pipeline will be exposed to heat, you need a metal that’s not going to expand. While this may not seem like a big deal, any metal that expands is going to put pressure on pipe joints, which could ultimately lead to cracks in the joints and significant leaks in the pipeline. Nickel holds its shape well, especially when mixed with iron. Fracture Resistant. When you’re assembling any kind of pipeline, you’re going to have some components that need to be welded together, and you’ll need confidence that those welds will stand up against the demand of the environment. The basic composition of nickel makes it durable when welded because the natural strength of the metal will support the weld points. This reduces the risk of cracking and flaking in your welds. Since these problems can...

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Compressor Oil And Air Filter Replacement Tasks To Complete

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Compressor Oil And Air Filter Replacement Tasks To Complete

If you have a large scale air compressor that powers the tools in your industrial or manufacturing plant, then you rely on this device to keep the plant moving in terms of productivity. This means that it is wise to make sure that the compressor remains in great condition so that downtime can be avoided. The best way to do this is to complete maintenance tasks and inspections diligently. Keep reading to learn about a few tasks you need to complete. Change The Oil Your air compressor has oil in it much like your car, and this oil helps to lubricate moving parts, moisturize seals, and remove heat from the compressor. Heat removal is most important when it comes to the compressor element because this part reaches temperatures close to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. If heat exceeds this temperature, the device shuts down. Not only will the compressor shut down, but oil that is continually heated to extreme temperatures will lose its ability to transport heat away from important internal parts. Parts are likely to break and require replacement afterwards. To help reduce overheating concerns and the need for part replacements, make sure to change the oil inside your air compressor. When an air compressor is used continuously, it is best to replace oil after every 300 hours of use.  Depending on the type of air compressor you have, oil will be transported to the moving parts of the machine with the assistance of a pump or it will splash against parts when the compressor starts to vibrate. Oil will sit in a space called a sump as it waits to be moved. The sump or oil reservoir will sit on the bottom of the air compressor. You will see a small window gauge on the side of it. When you locate the reservoir, look for a cap on the top and bottom. Start and run your air compressor for about 5 minutes. Turn it off and place a bucket underneath the bottom cap on the oil reservoir. Twist the cap off to release the old oil from the sump. Replace the cap once all the oil drains. Once all the oil drains, add new air compressor oil to the reservoir using the top cap. The oil volume will depend on the size of your air compressor, so use the window gauge to see when the reservoir is full.  Add A New Air Filter The air filter in your air compressor is an important part that removes smoke, dirt, and water vapor from the air that is pulled into your unit. This is the air that is compressed and forced out through the outlet hose to supply your pneumatic tools with power. The filtration of the air not only helps to keep contaminants out of the compressor pump, separator, and the drive motor, but it keeps these materials out of the outlet hose and your tools. It is best to change the air filer when you change compressor oil unless your facility is exceptionally dirty or humid. If this is the case, then change the filter twice as often. Some compressors will have two filters instead of one, so check in your manual to see how many filters are located in the compressor. However, the air intake filter is the one that needs to be replaced often. The inline...

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Metal Fabrication: 3 Reasons Why Production Costs Are Cheaper With Fiber Lasers

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Metal Fabrication: 3 Reasons Why Production Costs Are Cheaper With Fiber Lasers

Technological advances with lasers have led laser technology to become the driving force behind metal fabrication. Not only are lasers able to make more precise cuts, but they also function at unprecedented speeds and are more productive in general. There are many different types of lasers that are used to fabricate metal; however, fiber lasers, which are basically diode-pumped lasers that rely on rare earth ions like erbium and neodynium, have undoubtedly become one of the main leaders of the field. If you’re looking for a fabrication company to cut metal, you definitely want to make sure that they are using fiber lasers and nothing else — especially if you’re looking to cut down on production costs without affecting the quality of the fabrication. Here are three reasons why production costs are cheaper with fiber lasers. Simplicity in Design of the Fiber Laser Results in Lower Operating Costs The laser light of fiber lasers are produced by diodes, amplified through special fiber optic cables, and focused through a lens before being channeled and directed onto the surface of the metal. The design of this type of laser is much simpler to other alternatives on the market. Specifically, these lasers do not require any optical mirrors nor do they rely upon any moving parts. The sheer simplicity of the design helps reduce production costs in two ways: operating costs are lowered as less energy is needed and less maintenance is required to keep the equipment in excellent condition.  If the operating costs of the fabrication company are reduced, your production costs will as well. This is because most fabrication companies are more than willing to share the savings they enjoy with you since the cost of operating the equipment is lowered, especially if less maintenance is needed. These factors affect other types of lasers, and will raise the overhead cost of fabricating the metal.  Versatility of Possible Applications Reduce Equipment Cost If you give your business to a fabrication company, there’s a good chance that the company will handle all of your fabrication needs. It simply is not beneficial to rely on one company to cut the metal pieces, and another to bend or shape them. Transporting the pieces from one place to another alone would tack on unnecessary costs. The production costs are based on the amount of labor that needs to be put in to achieve the final product. Manufacturing and metal processing equipment is expensive. If the metal needs to be processed via different applications, your production costs will go up based on the amount of equipment that needs to handle your product. Fiber lasers are versatile, and one machine can basically handle numerous applications from cutting the metal to welding it.  When you choose a fabrication company that will handle your order with fiber laser equipment and machinery, you can almost be sure that the same machine will be able to handle all of the tasks that are required. On top of saving money on equipment, the fabrication process also requires less labor. In short, production costs are reduced due to cheaper labor and lower equipment costs.  Faster Cutting for Quicker Production Speeds Another reason why fiber lasers can reduce production costs is because they are able to cut and handle metals in a more efficient manner....

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4 Pallet Jack Features Ideal For Exterior Use

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Pallet Jack Features Ideal For Exterior Use

The typical pallet jack design is made for use inside of a warehouse. If your pallet needs extend to exterior locations, then the standard design may not fit your needs. Instead of sacrificing and struggling, you can shop around for pallet jacks that cater to outdoor use. As you browse, you can find pallet jacks with five features that will make them more durable for outdoor use. Specific jacks may have one or more of these features, giving you multiple options to shop for. Heavy Duty Wheels When using a pallet jack outside, you are often dealing with a lot more than just a flat and paved surface. Jacks made for all-terrain use feature wheels that are more durable and can easily roll over obstacles like gravel, sand, and small stones. These all-terrain designs often feature wheels on the outer sides of the jack instead of streamlined underneath the jack handle. The wider width of the wheels allows it to travel over sections without using as much physical force as a traditional jack would take. The wheels on a heavy duty jack are often inflatable. They are similar to a wheelbarrow design and have a thick tread that is durable for multiple years of use. It’s an alternate to the solid plastic wheels that are traditionally found on a majority of indoor jacks. Spare tires can easily be purchased to have on hand just in case you get a flat tire. Multi-Directional Wheels Another wheel options that is catered to exterior use are multi-directional wheels. Outdoor locations often do not have the straight paths or simple turns found in a warehouse setting; When a jack features multi-directional wheels, you have the ability to quickly turn and move in multiple directions with ease. The wheels can be locked into place and then set to turn with just a few simple adjustments. While outdoors, this allows you to navigate sidewalks, driveways, or gravel areas where multiple trucks and cars are parked. After using just a couple times, you will be able to quickly turn and navigate through any areas you need to locate. Electric Pallet Jacks One of the toughest parts of using a pallet jack outdoors is getting it up and down hills. Instead of using all your strength and ability, you can purchase an electric pallet jack that features a pull assist. The small battery-operated motor will rotate the wheel so you can guide the pallet with little effort. This helps you move up slopes with ease. At the end of each day, the pallet jack can be plugged in so it charges and is ready for use on the next day. Various models feature different sized batteries, speeds, and running times. Along with helping to move the jack, the electric component is also used to help lift the jack and the pallets that are on it. Corrosion Resistant Working outside can expose your pallet jacks to a number of conditions including rain and snow. If you work on docks near salt water, the salty air can present additional corrosion problems for your pallet jacks. The best way to to combat this is by purchasing jacks that are manufactured to be corrosion resistant. The jacks are put through a galvanization process that can prevent rust and corrosion due to moisture...

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Which Products Could Take Your Home Winemaking To The Next Level?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Which Products Could Take Your Home Winemaking To The Next Level?

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast who has always dreamed of crafting your own unique brews, or a home vintner who wants to take delve into the world of sales, you may be wondering whether you should invest your hard-earned funds into high-end winemaking equipment or simply continue with your current stock. With the popularity of home winemaking and beer brewing at all time highs, there are now more products to assist your entrepreneurial endeavors than ever before. However, because the price of these supplies doesn’t always reflect their quality, you may be affected by “analysis paralysis” when it comes to selecting the right fermentation tanks, aerators, and even corks. Read on to learn more about a couple of the industrial-grade products that can help your wine achieve the highest possible quality — without costing you an arm and a leg in the process. Water filtration equipment Great wine starts with pure, clean water — and depending upon the quality of the water supply in your area, a residential ion-exchange or reverse osmosis water filter simply may not cut it. Trace levels of bacteria from nearby farm or livestock runoff could significantly multiply during the fermentation process, leaving you with a foul-smelling and undrinkable wine; and the calcium and magnesium ions present in “hard” water may react badly with the tannins in your wine to create an unpleasant aftertaste.  While you may be able to use bottled water as the base for your wine, to avoid any cross-contamination, you’ll need to also use bottled water to wash all vessels and containers that come into contact with your wine. Because many varieties of bottled water are obtained from public water supplies across the country, they may not offer any greater purity than your own tap water. Often, it’s both easier and more cost-effective in the long run to bite the bullet and invest in an industrial-strength water filtration system.  The best type of filtration system for your situation largely depends on the amount of wine you’re planning to produce and the issues you’re facing with your current water supply. For example, if you have well water, you’ll need a filter that can both tackle tough minerals and cleanse the water of any impurities. Well water is often disinfected for drinking and bathing purposes by the use of chlorine bleach, so you’ll want a filter that is capable of removing all chlorine ions as well as any remaining bacteria. For more information on industrial filter systems, contact a professional supplier, like those found at Heavy-duty fermenter  The workhorse of the winemaking process is the fermenter — the bucket, jar, or decanter in which fruit or fruit juice is fermented to create alcohol. While the fermentation process can take place just about anywhere a container exists (as inmates who brew “prison wine” in toilet tanks can affirm), there are several advantages to the purchase of a glass or stainless steel fermenter. Using a plastic bucket or container to ferment wine, albeit an inexpensive option, can present several problems. First, even if this plastic is BPA-free, it could possibly leach trace amounts of petrochemicals into the juice, tainting the taste of your final product. You may also have trouble properly fermenting non-red wines in an open plastic tub or container; and these containers are...

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Building In Earthquake Country? Why Steel Is A Preferred Construction Material

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Building In Earthquake Country? Why Steel Is A Preferred Construction Material

If your construction project is anywhere along the west coast of the United States, then you are in earthquake country. Not only do you have to worry about load stress and the other variables that keep a building standing, you must consider the stress caused by the sudden movements of an earthquake. Steel metal fabrication has proven to be the most effective material for earthquake-proofing structures because of its ductility and malleability. What is Ductility? Ductility is the ability of a solid material to deform when under tension without breaking. In materials science, this is one form of plasticity. This is what allows steel I-bars to bend in the wind without breaking, or those same I-bars to handle the sudden twisting and shaking of an earthquake. What is Malleability? Malleability is another form of plasticity. This allows a material to deform when compressed, also without breaking. Structural steel may be formed into many shapes. It can be cast into I-bars meant to support skyscrapers and bridges or rolled into thin sheets, destined for use in duct systems or even decorative cladding, a roofing material. What is Steel? Steel is an alloy, made primarily of iron and carbon. The carbon acts as a strengthening agent, making steel much stronger than forged iron. Steel is either smelted in a Basic Oxygen Furnace, or BOF, or in an Electric Arc Furnace, or EAF. Structural steel is normally forged in the EAF furnace. After melting, the liquid steel is formed into beam blanks, cooled, reheated and then pressed into shape using giant rollers. The huge pieces are cut into smaller lengths that can be more easily shipped, then cooled.  Examples of structural steel items are I-beams, structural channels, or C-beams, angle cross sections, plates and joists.   How Steel is Used to Help Earthquake-Proof a Structure Reinforces Concrete to Absorb Stress Rebar is a form of steel that strengthens concrete. Thick reinforced steel rods are woven into a framework that acts as a skeleton for the poured concrete. Concrete on its own supports weight quite nicely, but it doesn’t handle side to side motion well. On bridges, even the day to day movement from traffic can cause un-reinforced concrete to crumble and fail. The same goes for buildings with concrete walls and/or substructures. Rebar helps absorb the structural stress of an earthquake. Makes Design Elements for Earthquake-Proof Structures Earthquake-proofing larger buildings, including skyscrapers, involves using special structures to absorb movement stress. Steel is used to manufacture many of these items. Diaphragms are the individual horizontal structures of a building. Each storey has a roof and a floor, which makes up one diaphragm. They are stacked on top of each other as the building progresses. In an earthquake-proof building, each diaphragm has its own deck, with each deck having its own horizontal reinforcement. The decks also receive vertical structural support through the connections to the building frame. Think of a building as a layer cake. Each layer is a diaphragm. The frosting in between the layers holds them in place. The frosting around the outside of the cake connects with the frosting between the layers, keeping the cake together. Trusses are also made of reinforced steel. These structures are placed at a diagonal on each deck, reinforcing the rectangular frame. To use the cake...

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How To Properly Clean An Oil Immersion Lens Used In A Microscope

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Properly Clean An Oil Immersion Lens Used In A Microscope

Oil immersion lenses are used in microscopy due to providing enhanced resolution of images. Immersion oil lenses are designed to be dipped into the oil so a thin film covers the glass. While this technique offers superior viewing of a specimen, it complicates the lens maintenance process and can cause significant damage to both optical and non-optical surfaces on the microscope if improperly handled. Below is how you can thoroughly and carefully clean an oil immersion lens: Tools and materials needed Lens tissues – always use high-quality lens cleaning tissues designed for use with precision optics. Never use facial or toilet tissue to clean a lens; despite their soft feel, these tissues contain tiny abrasive particles that can damage an oil immersion lens. Pure cotton cloths can be used as long as there are no traces of laundry detergent or other contaminants in the fibers. Lens blower – there are dedicated lens blowers available, but an ear bulb syringe works well as does gentle compressed air. However, be careful using compressed air so that no contaminants are ejected from the air flow such as compressor oil or fine abrasive particles. Canned air also should not be used due to its tendency to emerge from the can as a super-cooled liquid; this can result in damage to the glass. Commercial lens cleaning solution – this product contains distilled water as well as a few other chemicals such as alcohol in a carefully mixed formula. Do not apply common household cleaners such as glass spray or ammonia to the lens, though pure distilled water is always safe to use. Loupe magnifier – this enables you to see the lens surface clearly so you can inspect it for cracks, chips or other damage. Pencil Paper Step-by-step procedure 1. Prepare your workspace – before beginning, you will need to set-up an appropriate workstation for the work. Be sure your station includes an uncluttered, well-lit, flat desk. Clean off dust or other loose debris that might adhere to your lenses, and shut off fans or other sources of drafts. 2. Inspect the lens – after removing the lens from its mount, carefully inspect it with the loupe magnifier. Draw a simple diagram noting the locations of chips, cracks, pitting, distortion or any other anomalies. If you see any damage, then contact an optical supplier to see if it is still usable in its current condition or if the lens will need replacing. 3. Remove the immersion oil – begin cleaning the lens by placing a clean tissue across the surface of the lens and allowing it to absorb as much of the oil as possible. Replace the tissue as soon as it begins to show signs of filling with oil; repeat this process until the bulk of the oil is removed. 4. Saturate the lens with cleaner – using your solution, saturate the lens so that it is completely covered. Again, place clean tissues on top of the lens to remove the solution and traces of oil, but do not drag the tissue across the lens. Repeat the process of saturating the lens and removing oil with clean tissues until you can no longer see any visible oil. 5. Wipe the lens carefully in a circular motion – after removing the oil, roll up...

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The Truth Behind Eight Big Myths Of Geothermal Heating

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Truth Behind Eight Big Myths Of Geothermal Heating

As an increasing number of companies make the transition to more eco-friendly operations, even things like the building’s HVAC system need to be considered. If you’re looking for an effective commercial heating system for your building that will help you reduce your environmental footprint, geothermal heating is a great option. Unfortunately, many people overlook these systems due to myths about their operation. Here’s a look at several of the most common myths about geothermal heating and the real facts behind them. Myth: Geothermal systems aren’t renewable because they require electricity. Truth: Geothermal heat systems are not heavily dependent on electricity to function. These units only draw minimal electricity to transfer significant amounts of heat or cooling air from the soil to the building. Myth: You Need a Lot of Space for geothermal HVAC systems. Truth: The geothermal systems that take up large amounts of space use horizontally-installed loops under the surface of the soil. If you don’t have a lot of property for your geothermal system installation, you can opt for a vertical installation instead. You may also be able to utilize an aquifer on the property instead, placing the loop beneath the aquifer, reducing the demand on your property significantly. Myth: Geothermal pumps make too much noise. Truth: Most geothermal systems make little, if any, noise. There’s no outside equipment to run and disturb your neighbors or disrupt your outdoor space. In fact, you likely won’t even know it is running most of the time. Myth: Geothermal systems don’t last long Truth: An earth loop geothermal system will likely last for many years, because the heat exchanger is installed indoors, so it isn’t exposed to the elements. And, the loop is protected beneath the soil’s surface, so it doesn’t suffer from exposure damage. The most common maintenance need for these systems would be a new heat exchanger, which is not only quick and easy to replace, but also affordable. Myth: Geothermal systems are only for heat. Truth: Although they gained their initial popularity as a heating system, geothermal heat pumps are equally effective at distributing cool air. In fact, you can even install a heat system that functions as both your heating and cooling system, but you might want to have a backup heat system if you are in an area where temperatures approach freezing in the winter. Myth: Geothermal systems require you to put refrigerant lines underground, which could be dangerous to the environment if they burst. Truth: Most geothermal heat systems rely on water in the loops, not refrigerant. This makes them completely harmless to the environment if a line should break. Myth: Geothermal systems use a ton of water. Truth: The original geothermal heating systems used to pump water through the system and then discharge that water as waste. As a result, they developed this reputation for wasting excessive amounts of water. The newer geothermal heating systems don’t actually consume any water. In fact, if you use an aquifer to exchange heat, the water that the system uses will be returned directly to that same aquifer in a complete cycle. Myth: Geothermal heat systems are simply too expensive. Truth: There are some incentive programs and tax credits that you can explore to help ease the initial financial burden of setting up a geothermal heat system....

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Can You 3D Print Wiring For A 3D Printed House?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If recent news stories have piqued your interest in constructing a 3D printed house, you may be wondering about what must happen after the 3D printing itself has taken place. While these houses can be constructed at a very low cost — as low as $5,000 per home built — this cost generally doesn’t include electricity, plumbing, or any of the other necessities you’ll need to make your house habitable. However, there are technological developments in the works to allow you to 3D print not only the exterior structure of your home, but wiring harnesses, switches, and all other necessary electrical components. Read on to learn more about the advantages of 3D construction as well as what you’ll need to do (or hire someone to do) when it comes to electricity. What are some advantages of a 3D printed house? Unlike a “stick-built” or modular house, a 3D printed house is generally constructed from some sort of masonry — clay, cement, or even mud. The 3D printer quickly builds layer upon layer to form walls and even corners. The resulting structure is very solid and energy efficient, keeping cold air inside during the summer and warm air inside during the winter. 3D printed houses are particularly useful in the Southwest, where high temperatures and a very dry climate necessitate adobe-style houses. In addition to being eco-friendly and solid, 3D printed homes are remarkably inexpensive. The cost to construct a stick-built home or a modular home can be ten times or more the cost to construct an identical 3D printed home — giving you much more in house funds to invest in a larger lot or better school district. These homes can also be built quickly, and don’t require large crews to run the 3D printer. How should you run electricity through a 3D printed house? From the interior, a 3D printed house looks unfinished — walls are bare clay or cement. You’ll need to install drywall to give the home a polished look — but before that, you’ll need to have an electrician run the wires. Because the walls are bare, this process shouldn’t take too long, and the drywall contractors will be able to begin work before the electrical contractors are completely finished. Be sure to let your electrical construction specialist know your intended purposes for each room. For example, if you’re planning to make one bedroom a full-time office, you’ll probably want extra power outlets and possibly a cable or internet wire within easy reach of the wall intended for your desk. If you plan to convert a portion of your bedroom to a laundry room, you’ll want a special grounding outlet. If you’d instead like to continue the 3D printing theme, you may be able to print basic electric switches yourself — saving time and money on installation. Although current technology doesn’t support the ability to 3D print every wire or harness needed to fully electrify your home, you’ll be able to take pride in knowing that you created your wall switches by “hand.”  Will you eventually be able to 3D print a house that comes move-in ready? Through a new technology called “contour crafting,” you may soon be able to move straight in to your 3D printed home. This process is still under development, but would...

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