I’m looking at what might be the most bizarre 3D print-related launch campaign ever: 3D printing a life size castle.
At first I thought this might be an April Fool’s posting, but apparently not. The project is to, well, here’s how the originators describe it:
Ever heard of 3D printers? Well now it’s possible to 3D print castles using concrete! So we want to try and build a replica of Dracula’s castle from Romania in the heart of Washington State’s wine country.
The project comes from Minnesota-based TotalKustom who had previously developed a method of 3D printing concrete structures, culminating in 2014 with a demonstration small-size castle being produced. So this technology seems to work, at least at small scale.
The proposed project is apparently going to involve literally 3D printing a life-size castle, based on an actual Romanian castle, on the top of a mountain in Washington state. The castle is said to be one historically inhabited by Dracula.
Where do I start? The funding, for example, requests the grand sum of USD$1M to start this project. The rewards available to Kickstarter backers include strange titles associated with the structure, like “Royal Founder” and a number of nights’ stay at the castle, which apparently will operate as a hotel.
The campaign says:
We will need to discuss with Douglas County WA Building and Land Use department to plan and engineer the building site and get all required permits and licenses.
We will need structural engineers to survey the property and create a site plan.
We will need concrete and excavation companies in the area to help us create the foundation to support the structure before we start building the 3D structure itself.
There will be many more unknown challenges but we are ready to find a way with your support!
No kidding! This is a monstrously huge project to attempt with huge risks associated with it. Any number of things could sink this work, such as denial of a permit, or a big quote from an engineering firm.
The details of how this project will proceed are entirely inadequate and lend no confidence to readers. For such a large project, you must provide a large amount of evidence to gain faith that it is a legitimate project. There is no mention of serious partners or expertise beyond the ability to 3D print backyard castles. Even if this were actually built, who is the hotel expert that would run it? Would people actually stay there? Is there even a road to the site?
All of this causes some concern for the viability of this exercise, and it appears Kickstarter browsers have the same feeling. As of this writing, the project has raised the magnificent sum of USD$740 of the USD$1,000,000 required by 29 April.
Something tells me this project probably won’t make it.