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.