Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Dutch Architect Plans 3D Printed Building 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-a-lot-of-toner dept.
ExRex writes "Dutch architecture studio Universe Architecture is planning to construct a house with a 3D printer for the first time. The Landscape House will be printed in sections using the giant D-Shape printer, which can produce sections of up to 6 x 9 meters using a mixture of sand and a binding agent. Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture will collaborate with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who developed the D-Shape printer, to build the house, which has a looping form based on a Möbius strip. 3D printing website as saying: 'It will be the first 3D printed building in the world. I hope it can be opened to the public when it's finished.' The team are working with mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs to develop the house, which they estimate will take around 18 months to complete. The D-Shape printer will create hollow volumes that will be filled with fiber-reinforced concrete to give it strength. The volumes will then be joined together to create the house."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dutch Architect Plans 3D Printed Building

Comments Filter:
  • In general, are people making projects like this with 3D printers just to show they can? Is there some other motivation at work here?
    • Re:In general (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plover (150551) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:54AM (#42639871) Homepage Journal

      In general, are people making projects like this with 3D printers just to show they can? Is there some other motivation at work here?

      You see no use for a portable factory that can erect a completely custom building on demand? That it won't in any way change the way people live and work? That it won't impact the construction industry in the least? That a flock of them might come in and rebuild cities after a devastating disaster? Nothing about that strikes you as even remotely valuable?

      • None of that strikes me a even remotely viable.

        The reason most houses are built off standard plans isn't because it costs a lot to make concrete forms.

        Having a printer to make forms doesn't change the basic economics of home construction or the market viability of concrete homes.

        If anything we will see more parts prefabbed in factories. A long time ago windows were fabricated on site. Some time ago roof trusses were fabricated on site. That trend will continue.

        • I completely agree. Prefabricated components are the way to go. Other than the ease of construction, they will allow more material to be used from an earlier construction in a new one, thus reducing the energy and material cost of new constructions. If anything LEEDs will encourage the trend towards modularity.

        • by plover (150551)

          Sure, wooden forms are pretty fast to set up. And I especially like those new foam forms that remain in place as insulation after the pour - there's a brilliant idea. And I have no idea how much effort or how long it will take to dig out the building from beneath the tons of sand left behind by this D-shape printer. But we shall see. Perhaps this might turn out to be the best way to achieve continuous curves for the same price as straight lines, and that will appeal to certain customers. Maybe it's a r

      • Actually 3D printed structures are probably a bad idea in general, unless it is meant to be a "national" building that will be maintained and last for ideally hundreds if not thousands of years. A 3D printed building is not likely to be able to use materials from pre-existing structures, and whatever is printed is unlikely to be resuable at the end of the structure's lifespan. There is much more future in the design of Leg-like construction modules that would make it easy to assemble and disassemble structu

        • An added disadvanted of the printed building is that I see it being difficult to actually print "reinforced" concrete this way

          Fibre reinforced concrete has been around for decades. There's even steel fibre reinforced concrete.

          However, this project is using some wonder-resin mock-sandstone that is supposedly stronger than Portland and doesn't need reinforcing.

          • by MrDoh! (71235)
            Aye, some resin that I'm not sure will actually work. Will leave that to the Structural Engineer to slap some sense as needed. Pre-fab does seem to be the way to go, but I can envision something where first the slap is poured, rails added at the side, and a truck drops on the makerbot. Hoses for concrete are connected up, and concrete deliveries scheduled. The makebot uses forms to prep areas, more robotic assembly like a car than what we're seeing as 3d printing, and the concrete is poured (or forced u
      • You see no use for a portable factory that can erect a completely custom building on demand? That it won't in any way change the way people live and work? That it won't impact the construction industry in the least? That a flock of them might come in and rebuild cities after a devastating disaster? Nothing about that strikes you as even remotely valuable?

        I've no doubt that eventually it will be valuable, but this project seems like a kludge based around the buzz of a 3D printer. There's techniques out there at the moment that are similar but much easier and more economically viable (tilt up construction etc). It just seems like a clumsy attempt at a "Frist!" (sic).

        • by plover (150551)

          The way I see it, we need more "frists!" and not so much "psots". And I think kludges are absolutely perfect ways to prototype new ideas. Is D-Shape going to be the next big construction company? Probably not, but who knows what will come of this?

          3D printers have quietly been around for over 20 years, and they're just now catching on in a much larger way. Why not see how big and practical (or impractical) they can go?

    • I imagine that at the moment it really is in the "Just to show they can" phase. I can anticipate some potential benefits of this kind of manufacture, though I'm not an expert in the field, so take it with a pinch of salt! There was an episode of Grand Designs on UK television (I think it's a Channel 4 show) where they build a house using insulation-filled plywood boxes that were CNC-cut on site. It's probably worth a watch if you can get it, since it must have similar benefits to printing (e.g. just ship

    • by poity (465672)

      Construction with precast concrete has been around for a long time. They require molds, and typically are limited in form because the more molds you need to make the more expensive the project gets.

      With printed concrete, 10 unique slabs should have the same, or close to the same, unit price of 10 identical slabs, which (when the price approaches precast in the near future) opens up all design possibilities for architects currently restrained by budget.

      • by Elfich47 (703900)
        I can see this type of technology being used for foundation work first. I expect that there will be some trial and error (like the toy building being designed above). The moment someone has a working system where you can feed concrete into an auto printed an it spits out a complete foundation in less time than it takes to lay out the forms and pour concrete and strip the forms then you have a winner. I expect some fierce competition from the pre-insulated forms companies where the form becomes the insulati
    • People have a new thing, 3d printing. They don't know what it's good for, and the printers themselves are achingly primitive, they just have a vague sense of potential. So as the technology becomes more widely available, creative types are exploring the idea-space. Over time, all the stupid ideas, like this mobius-house, will be chipped away, and what is left will be what 3d printing is good for.

      • True but there were a lot of similar projects regarding computers in the 70s and 80s. It's just a winnowing process that needs to happen.
  • Then we can finally build a house out of Gingerbread.

  • Not the first printed house.

    Perhaps the first house built with printed concrete forms.

    • Thats what I was going to say. I remember years ago, someone was '3d printing' houses using a giant Cartesian/Gantry type machine that placed a special mix of concrete. It worked just like current 3d printing really, just made pass after pass, laying down layers, building up the walls. The advantage there was it did not need a filler in the rooms, it just used a mix that dried quickly enough. If i recall, it could print a 500 square foot house in about 5 days. The guy that was creating the system hoped to b
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:14PM (#42640021)

    3D printing buildings is a cool idea. It can be done in masonry, that is to say fiber reinforced concrete, which would produce low cost, high mass, highly energy efficient buildings. I just did one like this but poured it rather than 3D printing it. Sort of the same thing. 1.6 million pounds of concrete later we have a super insulated building that is built as bottles within bottles for extreme energy efficiency. In our case it is an on-farm USDA inspected slaughterhouse and butcher shop for our family farm.

    See: http://sugarmtnfarm.com/butchershop [sugarmtnfarm.com]

    I developed many of the techniques when we built our house in a similar manner. Prior to that we did even smaller models as animal shelters and desktop models. All along I fancied that much of this could be done just like 3D printing. The pumper we use is not all that different.

    • by brad3378 (155304)

      You have a very interesting website. I especially liked your innovative re-use of your old Styrofoam. I wish I had mod points to give you.

      I had no idea it took so much wood to tackle a project like that. How much money did you need to spend on wood for that project? Will you be able to reuse the wood after it is removed from the concrete? Do you think a 3D printed home would save on material costs after you factor in the cost of the wood?

      • by pubwvj (1045960)

        I have all the data to figure out the question on how much wood but haven't done it yet. I would guess about $30,000 in wood to build all the forms, scaffolding, braces and walers. All of it is reusable and in fact some of it has already been used in building two other projects including our house:

        http://sugarmtnfarm.com/cottage [sugarmtnfarm.com]

        seven years ago.

        Decades ago I dreamed up the idea of 3D printing buildings - I was an engineer involved with laser printing and I was also pouring concrete on the side for our own pr

  • The team are working with mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs to develop the house, which they estimate will take around 18 months to complete.

    How long does it take a conventional architect and builder to complete a house? I figure an architect can design a conventional house in 4 months. But most conventional builds start with an existing design and customize it a little bit based on the lot and customer preferences. I know you can build one in about 3 weeks with conventional methods presuming you can schedule all the work crews to be on site on the soonest day the house is ready for them. That's bare lot to ready-to-move-in. It normally tak

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      Depends on what exactly they are designing. If the house is nothing more than a box with a door and a window or two, then 18 months is ridiculously long. If the house is a 400 sq meter completely custom sprawling house and the owner has gone through multiple iterations of different designs, then 18 months doesn't seem all that unreasonable. If everything is being cast in stone before everything is printed, you get one shot to make sure your wiring, plumbing, hvac, etc are all places exactly where you wan

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        Depends on what exactly they are designing. If the house is nothing more than a box with a door and a window or two, then 18 months is ridiculously long. If the house is a 400 sq meter completely custom sprawling house and the owner has gone through multiple iterations of different designs, then 18 months doesn't seem all that unreasonable. If everything is being cast in stone before everything is printed, you get one shot to make sure your wiring, plumbing, hvac, etc are all places exactly where you want them.

        Sounds like a great reason not to cast everything in stone.

  • Not that most construction is not already made by adding layers of materials on top of layer placed before it.

  • They seem to be doing a lot planning for the final design, with either planning for or having done the basics first. (Prototype testing etc...) For that matter, the printer's website is long on hype, short on real information or accomplishments.

    • by Animats (122034)

      the printer's website is long on hype, short on real information or accomplishments.

      I noticed that. The site makes claims about how strong the material is, but they compare it to marble. Marble is brittle. If you drop a standard 0.400" marble tile on a hard surface, it will probably shatter. The tensile strength of stone is poor. Stone structures are usually designed to have almost everything in compression. Stone beams are limited to narrow windows and doors.

      A machine for turning out heavy cardboard forms for concrete might be more useful. Concrete columns are often cast inside heavy c

  • Saying and doing are two different things. I'll wait and see. BTW: where's the toilet in that thing?
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater [fallingwater.org] is memorably integrated into the landscape. But it is also and unmistakably a home.

    Wright's version of modernism was very much rooted in 19th century America. In the land, in the American culture, in the idea of home and domesticity, in warm materials that came out of the earth, wood and stone and so forth. The Europeans had a whole different set of priorities.
    They were really Utopian socialists. They wanted to remake the traditional family. They envisioned a whole modern culture in which society itself would change. Wright was trying to create a different kind of architectural expression for a traditional culture which he very much believed in. ---- Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic

    Fallingwater Interior [pbs.org]

    This Mobius strip looks more like a pavilion design for a World's Fair.

    If I am reading the renderings correctly, it does not have an unbroken interior. Navigating from one "room" to the next looks to be quite a hike.

    I don't see how you organize the interior space that is any way livable.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      This Mobius strip looks more like a pavilion design for a World's Fair.

      If I am reading the renderings correctly, it does not have an unbroken interior. Navigating from one "room" to the next looks to be quite a hike.

      I don't see how you organize the interior space that is any way livable.

      It's incredibly inefficient in every way. There's no reason for any stairs, but it wastes a huge amount of its space making them. Way too much outer wall, way too much distance between rooms that are too small for the land it occupies. But some sucker will buy it and will be proud to show it off until he decides it's unliveable and moves out to a more normal looking structure.

  • USC has been working on 3D printing of buildings for a while now. Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has developed a process he calls contour crafting that builds up a wall by adding concrete to it one contour at a time. You can find a TEDx video here. They're currently working with NASA to see if this technique can be used on the moon. But it doesn't seem like they've moved beyond the prototype stage.
  • So eventually we won't need construction workers at all? As much as I hate to say it, with all of this technology we will have to merge into a communist-like country (like communist mixed with democracy). How else can people live if there are no actual jobs? And for technology maintenance, you really don't need that many people or requires too much schooling (even if it's not difficult).
    • by darkat (697582)
      good question.. If most if not all of the jobs can be carried out by machines how can a growing population earn a decent living? I think it depends on who owns the land and the means of production. In a capitalistic world in which only the rich can afford this kind technology this will end up with war and famine, in a communist world in which all belongs to the state maybe people will share the output of the production, in theory. We saw however that amongst communist there are people that are more equal th
  • Playing minecraft!
  • I have seen many building that were architect fads, but that one tops anything I can recall.
  • Well, perhaps not quite the next step, but I can already imagine sending one of those to Mars in pieces to build a physical base for manned missions. It would have to be self-assembling and able to produce its own building materials on site, but it seems feasible to me. Not easy, but possible.

  • There was an episode of Grand Designs here in the UK where two guys built a house predominantly out of machine cut plywood that they formed into boxes. They stuck the the boxes together and pretty soon had a house. Whilst not 3d printed per-se, it's the first machine-made house I've ever seen.

    I do wonder if it would be possible to make a wall building bot. You put bricks in a hopper, cement powder in another hopper and connect it all to the water supply. Out comes your new garden wall. It's not too much of

  • I love the idea of a 3D printer house. The original concept from Contour Crafting [abstractdns.com] using quick dry concrete and plaster of Paris is better than the man made sand stone used by D Shape [d-shape.com] in both construction time and durability. The problem is how to add rebar to either design to make them earthquake resistant. Using Giant Compressed Earth Blocks (GCEB) [youtube.com] are more environmentally friendly idea since no concrete is used. A machine can extrude giant earthen Legos that can then be assembled. Rebar can then be p

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

Working...