In March of last year, 3D Printing Industry introduced the 3D Printed Canal House, in Amsterdam, which is projected to be the “first” 3D printed house. At that point in time, the architects of Dutch firm DUS had built the printer, titled KamerMaker XL and were in the process of printing 1:20 scale parts of the building. Less than a year has passed and DUS is moving onto the big show, the actual 3D printing of the components for the “first” 3D printed house.
KamerMaker XL, a 3.5 m tall printer, made its way to the Buiksloter Canal in Amsterdam on January 6, where it has already begun printing. The printer, more or less a large RepRap housed in a shipping container, is using a type of plastic — an 80% bio-based hotmelt, developed by German chemical company Henkel — to print pieces that will be assembled into a complete house.
Because the site of 3D Print Canal House will also act as a space for research into architecture and additive construction, each room of the home will be dedicated to different research areas.
The larger aim of the project is to meet the housing needs of the 7 billion people on the planet…DUS’ Hans Vermeulen seeks to address the sub-standard shelter for the world’s poor that has developed in megacities across the globe. Though the firm doesn’t ultimately wish to use plastic for the construction of buildings, the architect points out that “it’s not that we think everyone should live in a plastic house,. It’s the material that works at the moment.”
The printing of the home and its assembly by construction company Heijmans is projected to take about three years, which gives other groups also racing to complete the “first” 3D printed building some time to enact a more efficient house printing process.
But however this plays out, 3D printed houses are seemingly just around the corner.