A Dutch contracting firm hopes to replace the construction crew with a flexible 3D printer mated with robotics from the auto industry. The 3D Builder "building machine" will start by creating a 1:4 scale version of the so-called "Landscape House."

BAM International teamed up with Universe Architecture to create the machine, which is basically a free-form robotic printer with an interchangeable print head assembly that allows it to print materials like concrete or artificial stone and even create ornamental exteriors. It will undertake its maiden project at FabCity, a temporary, sustainable demonstration campus in Amsterdam.

The 3D Builder method is something like an inkjet printer, but using a bonding liquid rather than ink that is dripped on sand to harden in a desired shape. As with 3D printers, the process is repeated layer upon layer to build up walls and other structures. The print head for the system comes from D-shape, which is known for its house-printing background.

A rendering of the Landscape House(Credit: Universe Architecture)

The 3D Builder entered service at FabCity on June 8. The team behind it says it will be able to employ techniques to print other materials including steel and insulation in the future. For larger projects, Caterpillar tracks can also be added to a work space to allow the building system to move autonomously as it creates.

See the 3D Builder in action below.

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