An answer to the affordable housing crisis could be closer than we think.  Would you live in a 3D printed house? 

Researchers from the University of Southern California (where else?) have created a 3D printer that can print and build a 2,500 square-foot house in less than a day.  Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has led a team since 2008 in the development of layered fabrication technology called Contour Crafting.  Instead of using paper or plastics, the printer uses layers of concrete.  So no, you won't get to live in a carboard or candy house... 

The printing process involves a giant robot with a printing arm, which is flexible, on a huge crane.  The walls will all come imbedded with the proper electricals and passages for plumbing.  The team is hoping it could be used in the future for disaster relief, enabling them to quickly re-build houses for those affected by earthquakes, floods or those who are homeless. 

Khoshnevis said "Almost one billion people are living in slums which are infested with disease; a problem of conventional construction which is slow, labor intensive and inefficient."  

The team also hope their invention could be used when we eventually colonise other planets, as well as hangars and space-stations for NASA.