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October 11, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Chris Sentz takes his latest start-up through the “Spark Cleantech Accelerator”

Vitruvian is focused on 3D-printing homes using concrete.

While an undergraduate student at Miami University of Ohio, Chris Sentz started his first company. Two decades later, he stands at the forefront of change, and his latest venture, Vitruvian, is set to redefine the very concept of home construction.

Sentz’s entrepreneurial spirit first sprouted with his early eCommerce start-up, Skinsource, dedicated to beauty product sales. However, his path would take a remarkable turn, propelling him into the realm of transformative change. Today, the resident of Columbus, OH is a participant in Cohort 2 of the “Spark Cleantech Accelerator” hosted by the University of Tennessee (UT) Research Park.

His latest start-up is focused on 3D-printing homes using concrete.

For this entrepreneur, who spent 20 years navigating the world of performance marketing and management, this new endeavor signifies a profound departure. As he puts it, “I wanted to impact the physical world,” and what better way to do so than by addressing the affordable housing crisis that has its grip on our nation.

Sentz points to Columbus, where there’s a staggering shortage of approximately 110,000 homes, and he’s become aware of similar housing challenges in Knoxville since joining the Spark program.

“To society, housing is a critical issue in need of a solution,” Sentz says.

Vitruvian was unveiled in October 2022, just about a year after Sentz immersed himself in the world of advanced manufacturing, drawing inspiration from the makers of cars. His revelation? Automation could hold the key to resolving the housing shortage dilemma.

The company’s website reveals its vision: “The future of construction is a platform that brings together architects, engineers, designers, artists, and artificial intelligence to create the next generation of buildings.” This involves homes crafted from innovative materials, sustainable designs, and cost-effective models.

Sentz envisions entry-level homes, ranging from 700 to 2,000 square feet, benefiting from the Vitruvian approach. Phase 1 of the company’s plan involves 3D-printing exterior and interior walls, with subsequent phases adding roofs and trusses. By the fifth generation, the goal is to 3D-print everything.

“We need to prove our model by building about 100 homes,” Sentz says. As such, he’s actively seeking projects, with some already in the pipeline, and believes that 3D printing holds tremendous potential for short-term rental units.

When asked about his choice to join the “Spark Cleantech Accelerator,” Sentz cites the invaluable expertise in materials and additive manufacturing at both UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The company has been entirely self-funded up to this point.

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