Construction 3D printing announcements have regularly made the headlines in recent months, from the commercialization of 3D printed housing developments to novel sustainable building methods using recycled materials.
The latest construction announcements combining both commercialization and sustainability come from construction 3D printing firms Azure Printed Homes and WASP. The former has secured a contract to develop what it claims will be the first housing development to be 3D printed from recycled plastic, while the latter has continued its work to create sustainable 3D printed architectures using natural materials.
Azure’s recycled housing community
Hot off the heels of opening its new 15,000 square foot factory in California, Azure has been chosen by Oasis Development to create 14 3D printed prefabricated homes in Ridgecrest, California, made entirely from 3D printed plastic.
Azure Printed Homes was founded in 2019 with the goal of developing homes faster, more economically, and with less of an environmental impact. The company already manufactures and sells 3D printed backyard studios and accessory dwelling units to homeowners, and is reportedly the first construction firm to repurpose plastic waste as a primary home building material.
Now and in line with its original mission statement, Azure is scaling up its capabilities to build 3D printed houses for Oasis Development’s new housing community.
“Azure is excited to prove the concept of this technology, and to become a partner of choice for home builders,” said Ross Maguire, Azure’s CEO. “It’s great to partner with Oasis Development in Ridgecrest, on a genuinely innovative project aiming to demonstrate the benefits of 3D printing using recycled materials.”
With its 3D printing technology, the firm says it can build structures 70 percent faster and with 30 percent fewer costs than traditional home construction techniques. The company hopes to reduce homeowners’ energy bills entirely through a combination of building airtightness and the use of low-carbon technologies like heat pumps and solar panels.
Azure will begin 3D printing the 14 homes in August this year, and plans to have completed the entire build by the following month. The homes will form the first community of durable homes 3D printed entirely using waste plastic material intended for landfills, incineration, or that would have ended up in our oceans.
“Oasis is pleased to announce our partnership with Azure to deliver 3D printed modular homes to Ridgecrest,” said Ken Bagga, CEO of Oasis Development. “We have been actively researching several potential prefab manufacturers for this particular project for several years. We finalized our current plans for this development with Azure’s input. This expertise has accelerated our learning around their innovative products and processes.
“Now that our agreement is signed, we look forward to seeing these new modern homes being manufactured by Azure Printed Homes and installed in our Ridgecrest development.”
WASP strengthens IAAC partnership for sustainable architectures
WASP has long been a pioneer within sustainable 3D printed architectures, having previously deployed its Crane WASP 3D printer to build its Gaia small eco house for its sustainable Shamballa village project in Italy, and later to fabricate its TECLA eco-friendly housing model printed entirely from local earth.
The company has worked with the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona (IAAC) for the best part of four years to advance the field of additive manufacturing for sustainable architecture. The partners have worked together as part of IAAC’s postgraduate education program in 3D Printing Architecture (3DPA) which gives students the chance to engage with different areas of research within robotic manufacturing, material research, and performance-based design.
For their latest project, WASP and the IAAC will inaugurate the first housing prototype 3D printed with the firm’s Crane WASP 3D printer at Valldaura Labs, a campus created by the IAAC focused on research and education on self-sufficient habitats. The sustainable habitat will be printed with the firm’s new LDM WASP Extruder XXL, with those interested invited to watch the live broadcast of the build on February 28th, 2022.
According to WASP, the build is an example of the firm’s openness to engaging with universities and research centers around the world to advance sustainable building methods for the future using additive manufacturing.
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Featured image shows a render of one of Azure’s 3D printed ADUs. Image via Azure Printed Homes.