Shanghai-based 3D printing company WinSun is marketing printed, while-you-wait isolation pods for people diagnosed with Covid-19.
Each 10 sq m “isolation house” can be printed in two hours.
One printing machine can produce 15 rooms a day, and they cost about $4,000 apiece, Winsun chairman Ma Yihe said.
Example pods have been sent to hospitals in Xianning City and Huangshi City, both in Hubei Province.
“We use recyclable materials including sand and construction residue. It is very environmentally friendly,” Ma said.
“When it comes to safety, the structures are at least twice as strong as concrete construction.”
Each 2.8m-high pod has two beds and an “ecological toilet” that flushes without water and uses bacteria to break down the waste.
They are light enough to transport by truck, and can be placed anywhere electricity is available, without the need for foundations.
When no longer required, the rooms can be reused as “guard rooms, newspaper kiosks or lounge”, or crushed and recycled as the raw material for other buildings.
The pods adapt an existing WinSun design for mobile homes, aimed at the tourist industry.
The plan is to market the instant isolation wards using a sponsorship plan, whereby companies or individuals can donate money to have a ward built and shipped to a struggling hospital.
Future designs will have solar panels to remove the need for a grid connection.
A video of the printer in action can be seen here.