Architecture

Europe's largest 3D printer builds two-story house

Europe's largest 3D printer bu...
The 3D-printed house was created for research purposes and to highlight the possibilities of 3D-printed architecture, so there are no plans for anyone to live in it
The 3D-printed house was created for research purposes and to highlight the possibilities of 3D-printed architecture, so there are no plans for anyone to live in it
View 6 Images
The 3D-printed house was created for research purposes and to highlight the possibilities of 3D-printed architecture, so there are no plans for anyone to live in it
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The 3D-printed house was created for research purposes and to highlight the possibilities of 3D-printed architecture, so there are no plans for anyone to live in it
The 3D-printed house was created by a 3D printer that extruded a cement-like mixture out of a nozzle in layers, with human laborers finishing off the windows and roof
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The 3D-printed house was created by a 3D printer that extruded a cement-like mixture out of a nozzle in layers, with human laborers finishing off the windows and roof
The 3D-printed house was created using a OBOD BOD2 3D printer measuring 10 x 10 m (32 x 32 ft), which Kamp C says is the largest in Europe
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The 3D-printed house was created using a OBOD BOD2 3D printer measuring 10 x 10 m (32 x 32 ft), which Kamp C says is the largest in Europe
The 3D-printed house is the first we've seen to date with two floors
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The 3D-printed house is the first we've seen to date with two floors
The 3D-printed house's interior decor is simple, leaving the 3D-printed concrete on display
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The 3D-printed house's interior decor is simple, leaving the 3D-printed concrete on display
The 3D-printed house includes a simple kitchenette
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The 3D-printed house includes a simple kitchenette
View gallery - 6 images

In just a few short years, 3D printed architecture tech has matured from producing basic hut-like homes to creating a community of low-cost housing. Another interesting development in this area comes from Kamp C in Antwerp, Belgium, which recently built a prototype 3D-printed house with two floors using what it calls Europe's largest 3D printer.

The unnamed project measures roughly 90 sq m (around 970 sq ft) and is the first 3D-printed house we've seen with two floors, though we have previously reported on an office building that also had two floors. It was constructed using a COBOD BOD2 printer measuring 10 x 10 m (32 x 32 ft) and, as with other 3D-printed projects, the construction process involved extruding a special cement-like mixture out of a nozzle and building up the basic structure in layers until it was complete. Human laborers then came in and put the finishing touches in place, like the roof and windows, for example.

It was completed on-site over three weeks but Kamp C reckons this could be reduced to as little as two days in the future.

"The material's compressive strength is three times greater than that of the conventional quick build brick," explains Marijke Aerts, the project manager. "Besides the fibers in the concrete, the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement used is extremely limited. As a result of the printing technology used, formwork was redundant, saving an estimated sixty percent on material, time, and budget."

The 3D-printed house includes a simple kitchenette
The 3D-printed house includes a simple kitchenette

The interior of the prototype home has similar dimensions to a typical Belgian house, though is not actually going to be lived in as it was created for government-funded research purposes and to highlight the possibilities of 3D printed architecture. It includes an entrance hall, two conference rooms, and a kitchen area. Kamp C also added some sustainable and energy-saving extras too, such as underfloor heating, solar panels, and a heat pump. A green roof is planned for the future.

If you're in the Antwerp area and would like to check out the project in person you can do so during July and August by making an appointment through Kamp C's website (in Dutch).

Source: Kamp C

View gallery - 6 images
5 comments
paul314
I guess you'd really have to like that wall texture, or else get some human finishers in.

A big step forward would be the ability to do this kind of thing with an articulated robot arm, so that you wouldn't need a cartesian frame bigger than whatever you were building.
christopher
Yet another example of something that can only be used when laws make it OK to crush the inhabitants to death (e.g. 3rd world).
"the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement used is extremely limited" - that is shorthand for "this structure is too dangerous to live in".
"... house though is not actually going to be lived in" - that's shorthand for "does not comply with safety standards".
Signguy
Just put two "guiders" just behind the nozzle to create smoother walls.
Worzel
This is the first printed dwelling, that, at least looks habitable. Dont fall against the walls tho' unless you can get, and like, free skin grafts. Also a textured surface like that is going to collect bugs and crap, and be impossible to clean, except by jet washing.
Who wants to have to jet wash their living room on a regular basis?
Therefore the estimated building times are highly speculative, because the dwelling is essentially unfinished, and most of the time consuming finishing processes have been omitted.
To research the real quality as a dwelling, a bathroom would be essential, as are bedrooms, to assess the effects of condensation, on, and inside the walls.
In the 60's in the UK there were a number of high rise blocks of apartments that were built for cheap council housing to a design used in Southern Italy. Italy has six months of scorching sunshine, while the UK has 12 months of rain. In addition the designers specified electric heating for cheapness of building, but electricity is the most expensive energy source in the UK. So, the inhabitants used portable gas or paraffin/kerosene heaters, which produce a lot of water vapour.
The end result was that with water being absorbed from the both inside, and the outside, the walls became saturated with water, and therefore masses of black mould began to grow on them.The final solution, was, complete demolition, and millions of taxpayers ££'s wasted.
So, before any printed dwellings can be regarded as habitable, they will at least have to construct a fully completed building, and test it.
Jerome Morley Larson Sr eAIA
A few dozen drones will take the place of a 3d printer with no limitation on area nor height; each drone a mini concrete mixer shuttling between material source and site 24//7