Architects are having a lot of fun using 3D printing in their creations, especially now that the technology has gotten cheaper and more eco-friendly. We've rounded up our six favorite examples of 3D-printed architecture, including affordable concrete homes in China, a biodegradable plastic cocoon made from a collaborative effort in The Netherlands, and even a 3D-printed bungalow with porch for lucky birds flying around the US.
California-based architecture studio Smith|Allen built Echoviren, the world’s first structure made using 3D-printing technology. Measuring 10 x 10 x 8 foot, it was built from 585 PLA bio-plastic components and assembled in just four days.
Shanghai building company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. made not a house but a small community of gable roofed, 3D-printed houses in just one day! Costing just $4,800 each, these 2,100-square-feet concrete homes are the first attempt of the company into making affordable homes for the impoverished.
Minnesota-based DIY master Andrey Rudenko has 3D-printed the world’s first castle made from layers of concrete. Built at the back of his garden with his self-built 3D printer, the 161.5-square-foot castle is one of the largest objects ever made with this technology.
Ohio-based studio DesignLabWorkshop built a brilliant solar-powered 3D-printed structure called Solar Bytes Pavilion. Made from 94 translucent plastic modules snapped together, it features integrated LEDs that charge up during the day releasing an enchanting glow during the night.
Measuring 16 x 13 x 20 foot, it features 4,760 uniquely shaped stones that were printed, signed and sent to the designer from collaborators all over the world.
Last but not least, we have a 3D-printed birdhouse by Erik J. Durwood, who created a classic American Craftsman Bungalow Birdhouse for a contest run by MakerBot Thingiverse. The favorite bird bungalow design took MakerBot 20 hours to complete and comes with two entrances, ventilation, and a sheltered porch.