An architecture firm that was founded in 2004 in Amsterdam by Hans Vermeulen, Hedwig Heinsman and Martine de Wit called DUS Architects is in the middle of a 3-year research project that may change the construction industry forever. They are working on building the first 3D-printed house called the 3D Print Canal House.
The 3D Print Canal House is an exhibition/museum where visitors pay to interact and see the 3D printing process in action. This is a trial process where DUS Architects is testing to reduce waste, build an on-site model, make a residence with approximately 10-foot tall printed panels (which take about one week to print) with built-in furniture and research the sites for 3D printing architecture.
The printer that DUS Architects is using to create the 3D Print Canal House is ten times the size of an ordinary 3D printer entitled the “KramerMaker” or RoomBuilder. It is built out of a shipping container.
The 3D printing process is similar to a regular desktop printing process where digital design is printed layer by layer but uses materials such as bio plastics (see Bio-Based Products article) and prints with the 3rd or Z-axis in use. The bio plastics that are currently being used are based on rapeseeds that can be melted down and reused as necessary. These bio plastics, Macromelt, is 80 percent vegetable oil and melts at 170 degrees Celsius.
DUS is looking at using other materials like wood and natural stone waste that will also be able to melt and then transformed into building parts and will give options to future owners. Any materials are able to be used as long as they do not melt at too high of a temperature.
There is no cost yet to own a 3D printed house because the research is still underway but the goal is,
“To create a cost-effective building technique for building sustainable and comfortable houses.”
This research project is funded in part by the contributions of DUS’ partners, the municipality of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts,The Doen Foundation and the visitor’s entrance fee to the interactive center.
This is a pretty incredible achievement if in the future new houses can be printed and then at some point removed and reused to reprint a different dwelling. A sustainable and amazing technological advanced home could become tomorrow’s best friend to both the environment and to the construction industry.
Resources: Inhabitat, 3d Printed House, and DUS Architects