What if you could assemble your house like Legos using free modeling software and a 3D printer? That’s the idea behind Eric Schimelpfening’s WikiHouse – a home designed entirely in SketchUp that can be downloaded by anyone, customized to fit the user’s needs and sent to the 3D printer. The components are then snapped together using less than 100 screws to make rooms that can be rearranged as easily as you would rearrange furniture.
The WikiHouse Open Source Construction Kit can be downloaded by anyone interested in building a house. What distinguishes it from the modular houses of the 1950s is the fact that it is entirely customizable to different users and environments.
The WikiHouse project’s designer Eric Schimelpfenig previously worked on developing Google’s modeling software, SketchUp, and currently writes for Kitchen & Bath Design News; he also runs U.S. social media for high-end kitchen storage company Kesseboehmer, and developed SketchThis.NET as a kitchen plug-in for SketchUp.
The movable 3D printed components can be assembled almost without screws, and users can easily rearrange the rooms according to their lifestyles or whims. This flexibility also extends to plumbing and electrical outlets. The Wikihouse Open Source Construction Kit is free, which means anyone who has a few thousand dollars for the plywood and CNC milling machine could build an affordable and remarkably flexible home.