Now, a 3D printed estate featuring a swimming pool, jacuzzi, car port and 2,400 square foot house could be coming to a sleepy plot of land in upstate New York.
The ambitious project is being undertaken by New York City architect Adam Kushner, alongside partners including 3D-printing pioneer Enrico Dini and his D-Shape firm.
Kushner told CNN that surveying has already begun with excavation work also set to commence soon.
The swimming pool and jacuzzi are penciled in to be completed by December 2015 while construction of the house is expected to continue until the end of 2017, he says.
But the project hinges on getting the giant 3D printer, which will be used to produce the digitally designed building blocks of the estate on-site, into the country.
The device is currently in Italy after it was originally being built for a project partly funded by the Italian defense agencies. Military clearance is now required before the green light is given to export the printer to the United States, Dini says.
The delay in receiving this clearance is part of the reason the project has been held up since it was first announced back in August 2014.
"We are now waiting (for) permission to borrow the printer (from the military)," Dini says. "If I had another printer I'd send it there tomorrow, but unfortunately we don't have and must wait."
The litmus test
Whatever the import-export issues, Kushner says he sees the estate project as a test of D-Shape's printer technology and its distinctive method.
This practice entails collecting sand, dust and gravel on site and mixing them with a magnesium-based binding agent to produce the 3D-printed building blocks required to piece the estate together. According to literature on the D-Shape website, the material produced by the printer is "similar to marble" in its constitution.
This technique is vastly different from other 3D-printing methods, Kushner says, and enables the production of many more "sculptural forms" that simply aren't possible with other systems.
If D-Shape can prove its technology works and is efficient for a project of this size, Kushner believes it could lead to all manner of possibilities in architecture and construction. Not only could it be faster and safer than existing construction methods, he says, it could also end up being cheaper, more streamlined and of higher quality.