Blu VP Exhibits Innovative Construction System in Austin

July 2, 2009

July 2, 2009 - This past weekend, Blu Homes VP Dennis Michaud coordinated and led the production of the third "Digitally Fabricated House." Built entirely of friction-joined plywood parts, cut using a computer-driven robotic tool called a Shopbot CNC, and assembled without the use of nails, screws, mechanical fasteners, or glue - each component of this structure was 3D modeled in Cambridge, MA; fabricated using a Shopbot in Exmore, VA; and assembled for exhibit at the Maker Faire in Austin, TX. The Maker Faire, a nationally touring and renowned exhibit of innovative ways of "making things," is funded by the popular Make Magazine - which awarded Dennis' team the blue ribbon Editor's Choice award for their house. This project was in a way a continuation of his research that was also recently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. In Austin, the Digitally Fabricated House drew tens of thousands of visitors to view and touch how it was designed, fabricated, and assembled - including live demonstrations - and attracted the attention of Austin's mainstream and grassroots media. After two live, primetime television interviews, lots of Q&A with developers, re-builders, and multiple philanthropic and non-profit organizations - as well as some great conversations with local Austin residences - the team disassembled and neatly packed up all of the parts in about an hour.

At Blu, we find this project particularly great because it is an example of efficiency in material usage and on-site time that is such a big part of our company ethic. As we continue to move forward in bringing new innovations to affordable, well-designed homes, we also love any opportunity to be involved in "extra-curricular" projects that push ourselves and the homebuilding industry in general.

Dennis explaining the system in an informal Q&A session;

Dennis explaining the innovative construction system in an informal Q&A session;

The opening of the house exhibit at the Maker Faire (Austin);

The opening of the Maker Faire exhibition;

The Digitally Fabricated House for New Orleans exhibited at the MoMA (NYC).