Architecture

Couple takes up residence in boulder-shaped 3D-printed home

Couple takes up residence in b...
The 3D-printed house measures 94 sq m (roughly 1,000 sq ft), and consists of just one floor
The 3D-printed house measures 94 sq m (roughly 1,000 sq ft), and consists of just one floor
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Much of the construction process for the home was carried out in a nearby factory
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Much of the construction process for the home was carried out in a nearby factory
The 3D-printed house measures 94 sq m (roughly 1,000 sq ft), and consists of just one floor
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The 3D-printed house measures 94 sq m (roughly 1,000 sq ft), and consists of just one floor
The 3D-printed house is based on a concrete foundation and features a small garden area outside
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The 3D-printed house is based on a concrete foundation and features a small garden area outside
The 3D-printed house is part of a larger development that will eventually include five 3D-printed homes
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The 3D-printed house is part of a larger development that will eventually include five 3D-printed homes
The interior of the 3D-printed house contains a combined living, dining, and kitchen area, bathroom, and two bedrooms
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The interior of the 3D-printed house contains a combined living, dining, and kitchen area, bathroom, and two bedrooms
The 3D-printed home's decor leaves the distinctive 3D-printed walls uncovered
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The 3D-printed home's decor leaves the distinctive 3D-printed walls uncovered
Much of the 3D-printed home's available floorspace is taken up by the main living area
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Much of the 3D-printed home's available floorspace is taken up by the main living area
The 3D-printed house costs roughly €800 (around US$960) per month, plus bills, to rent
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The 3D-printed house costs roughly €800 (around US$960) per month, plus bills, to rent
The 3D-printed house looks clean and light-filled thanks to generous glazing
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The 3D-printed house features generous glazing
The 3D-printed house's secondary bedroom includes a small office area
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The 3D-printed house's secondary bedroom includes a small office area
The 3D-printed house's bathroom looks spacious and includes a shower, toilet, and sink
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The 3D-printed house's bathroom looks spacious and includes a shower, toilet, and sink
View gallery - 11 images

3D-printed construction has moved into the mainstream lately with recent projects like the luxury Texas development and affordable housing in Mexico. Another example of the efficacy of the cutting-edge building technique comes from the Netherlands with what's hailed by its creators as the country's first completed 3D-printed home.

The unusual dwelling fully complies with local building codes and is the first completed build in a larger development of five 3D-printed homes in Eindhoven named Project Milestone. The scheme is a collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology, Van Wijnen, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, Vesteda, the Municipality of Eindhoven, and Witteveen+Bos.

Its irregular exterior is meant to resemble a large boulder and the building measures 94 sq m (roughly 1,000 sq ft), which is spread over one floor. The interior looks much like any other typical apartment or small house, except for the unfinished 3D-printed walls.

A good chunk of the available floorspace is taken up by a combined living room, dining room, and kitchen area, while two bedrooms and a bathroom lie elsewhere. Generous glazing helps fill the interior with natural light and it's also well insulated, as well as being hooked up to the city's heating grid.

Much of the 3D-printed home's available floorspace is taken up by the main living area
Much of the 3D-printed home's available floorspace is taken up by the main living area

Much of the construction was carried out in a factory. An industrial 3D printer created a total of 24 individual concrete sections by extruding a cement-like mixture out of a nozzle in layers. Once all the sections were complete, they were transported to the site by truck and assembled by human builders on top of a concrete foundation. The roof and windows, plus other finishing touches were then finally added by builders too. According to The Guardian, the entire printing process took around 120 hours.

"The partners deliberately set the bar high by designing the house in the shape of an irregular boulder," says the project's press release. "In recent years, the necessary R&D has been done to make concrete printing possible in all sorts of forms. It was especially challenging to print the inclining walls but this has now been mastered by the project’s participants. With the knowledge gained, the door has been opened to a completely different kind of construction to the usual rectangular houses."

The 3D-printed house looks clean and light-filled thanks to generous glazing
The 3D-printed house features generous glazing

The home's new tenants moved in on April 30 and are paying roughly €800 (around US$960), per month, plus bills. A press representative told us that this works out around average for a house in the area.

Source: 3DPrintedHouse

View gallery - 11 images
7 comments
minivini
I can’t overstate how excited I am to see 3-D printing used in architectural projects. I hope the end cost finally turns into an option for high quality, energy efficient, and less expensive housing.

I do worry, though, about potential off gassing of the print materials. It’s a form of plastic, which we know disperses chemicals into the air as it ages. Have any long term studies been done on the particular chemical makeup of the print medium and how that might pose health threats over the long term?
Username
The advantage of 3D printing a building seem a bit lost if it's not printed on site.
TechGazer
To minivini: it says that it's printed from concrete, not plastic. 3D printing can use any suitable materials. Printing a house out of earthen materials and cellulose (straw or whatever else), hopefully dug/harvested locally, would be even more environmentally benign.
Lamar Havard
Seems to me, a Monolithic Dome home, which has been around for close to 30 years, would be much less expensive, and quicker to construct. Blow up a plastic form, put rebar, shotcrete and spray foam inside, and a sprayed weatherproof coating outside...BOOM, any size home you want.
Miro
A good student's level exercise in architecture with the only purpose to learn how things should not be done. Prefabricated modular building systems are existing more than a century and surely will be better professional choice. But every generation should have it's own “revolution”.
To TechGazer :
It says cement-like mixture. I doubt very much 3D printer will use real cement. Any additives to it decreases it's quality.
Expanded Viewpoint
You are right, Username. Making the pieces off site, and then hauling them to the foundation and setting them up, is waaaay too much extra manpower being added into the mix.
Why don't they say what the slabs are made out of? Is it some kind of State secret?
This kind of solid wall construction is OK for geologically stable regions, but in quake prone areas, not so much.

Randy
ljaques
Q: What's the style of your home construction?
A: Shat concrete. (blush)
I was uncomfortable looking at the interior of that house. Everything was at a cant, so their minimalist style took up far more room than it needed to. The homes I've seen built on site with this method have mostly been attractive and more conventional, not to mention far, far cheaper to construct. I hope they are sturdy and safe.