The 3D printing revolution is almost at the point where there can be a printer in any home. But what about using a printer to build the house itself? The Dutch company DUS Architects is working on doing just that. They've developed a 3D printer 10 times the size of ordinary ones. It's called the KamerMaker, which means Room Builder, and they've built it out of a shipping container, with the goal to 3D print an entire house! Using bio-plastics, the on-site printer can create the pieces of a canal home that the firm is currently building as an experiment over the next few years.
One aspect of construction they’re testing is the ability to reduce waste. The bio-plastic is based on rapeseeds, and if the manufactured piece is slightly out of spec, it can be ground up and reused. Also, because the pieces are all made on site, there’s less trial and error, and therefore fewer resources are wasted.
Some think the on-site model will increase construction time but that’s all part of the experiment. The architectural firm is even thinking of other material possibilities, like a wood-based liquid that hardens into something like MDF, or biodegradable products that could be used for temporary structures, then melted back into the earth after a season.
At the canal house, pieces ranging from around ten feet tall (which take a week to print) to room components with built-in furniture will be fitted together and filled with insulating concrete, creating not only a new building, but also the opportunity to learn how these revolutionary techniques can be best used on the building sites of tomorrow.
A couple of decades ago, the very idea of robo-printing a house, or 3D-printed anything would have been considered science fiction; existing only in a Star Trek universe or similar. In just a few short years, the 3D printing industry has grown by leaps and bounds, and we’re currently seeing everything from 3D-printed food to prosthetic limbs, furniture items, and now even full-scale buildings. How has 3D printing impacted your own life? Please let us know in the comments section below!
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