Can your printer do this? Print a house!

Paul Messino - Friday, February 01, 2013

Architect wants to print a house

Using a massive 3-D printer, a Dutch architect believes he can create a Mobius-style loop home strong enough to live in. The printer's inventor agrees.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Jan 25, 2013 3:01PM

© Universe ArchitectureScientists are just beginning to delve into the possibilities created by the process of 3-D printing, which can produce a three-dimensional object made of multiple materials from one printer.


A Dutch architect believes he can print a house. Janjaap Ruijssenaars, of Universe Architecture in Amsterdam, has drawn up plans for a 12,000-square-foot endless-loop house called the Landscape House that he believes could be created with a 3-D printer.


"It's our ambition to have the first printed house,” he told Agence France-Presse, predicting that it could be completed by 2014. “This printer has made art or objects for sea defenses, but this is the first time to build something that can be lived in.”


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While no one has yet printed a building, the D-Shape printer’s creator, Enrico Dini, has set that as a goal.

The house would be printed in sections -- the D-Shape printer can print a section that’s about 20 by 30 feet -- and then assembled. Ruijssenaars expects the project would take 18 months to build, including about six months of printing, and cost $5.3 million to $6.6 million.

Parts that are normally made from concrete would be printed with broken-up rocks and an emulsion binding, then filled with fiber-reinforced concrete and covered with a steel and glass façade.

One reason the architect turned to the printer technology is that he wanted to build an endless Mobius-style loop. Traditional building methods required him to make a strip and then bend it.


"3-D printing is amazing," Ruijssenaars told the BBC. "For me as an architect, it's been a nice way to construct this specific design -- it has no beginning and no end, and with the 3-D printer we can make it look like that. In traditional construction you have to make a mold of wood and you fill it with concrete and then you take out the wood. It's a waste of time and energy."


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