The Netherlands is no stranger to creative building projects and harnessing the power of 3D printing has allowed Dutch builders to create the world’s first full-sized 3D printed home. It was developed in the northern section of Amsterdam and resembled a traditional Dutch-style canal house. The end result created something that resembled building blocks due to the unconventional building techniques involved, but did create something that’s completely livable.
About the Project
The project was collaborated between Dus Architects and the 3D printer manufacturer, Ultimaker. The design made use of a variation of desktop printers, known as the KamerMaker, which stands roughly 20 feet tall. Speed isn’t the name of the game here, though. A machine of this size and of this much output power needs a bit of time to work: most of the larger pieces on the home required eight days to fully print before they were ready to install.
The Debut and Completion Expectations
The house was fully completed and ready to publicly view last month. At this point, a 10-foot corner of the home that weighed in at nearly 400 pounds was printed and installed at the build site. At the present time, this is all that continues to stand at the build site and builders estimate it’s going to to take about three years to print and assemble the structure. However, due to the innovative and ever changing nature of 3D printing, it’s certainly possible that this could change and technology could advance to the point where it’s completed much, much sooner.
The overall goal of the project is to create a home using completely renewable, sustainable materials that competes with current building techniques. The materials itself, known to project developers as “hotmelt plastic”, require a bit of outlandish thought though. As it stands, the printed materials are injected with insulating concrete in order to reinforce the entire structure. This could, of course, change as the project continues to evolve over time and the technology behind it changes. As it stands, the entire project is no more than an experimental procedure and builders are taking it with an “as it comes” approach. Whatever happens is seemingly what’s going to happen and it will be interesting to see what the end result is over the next few years.
As the project stands, it seems to be quite a draw for local residents who have flocked to the building site; potentially witnessing the future of home building. Is this going to be the way all homes are built in the future? It’s certainly possible, but as we’ve already seen, the technology is far from perfect. While builders are assembling a perfectly livable house, it’s compromising on the sustainable nature that 3D printing tends to embody. Will this change in the future? It’s certainly possible, but the world will have to wait and see how it changes and whether or not those changes will be for the better.