The printed house

By - , Build 143

3D printing is exciting plenty of interest. In the construction world, work is under way on a complete building and steel structural elements.

IN WHAT IS SAID to be a first, Amsterdam-based DUS Architects are building a 3D house, part of a 3-year collaborative research and exhibition project into 3D printing architecture.

Multi-level Canal House

Called the 3D Print Canal House, the building will have 13 rooms over multi-levels when completed. It is designed to look like a traditional Dutch gabled house but with a faceted plastic façade made from recycled, extruded plastic waste instead of hand-laid bricks.

‘A canal house is recognisable and attractive,’ say the architects. ‘It is interesting to investigate what this traditional archetype can be in the 21st century context. 3D printing a canal house shows the world how to combine traditional local values with innovative new ideas.’

Detail and ornamentation easy

The architects say one big advantage of 3D printing over traditional building techniques is the opportunity to have a high level of detail, ornamentation and variation.

Disadvantages include the inability to create a building that complies with building regulations for insulation, fireproofing, wind loads and foundations. This, and what materials are the best to print with, are part of the research aspect of the project.

Printed on site

The house will be printed by the KamerMaker (RoomMaker), a large, portable 3D printer developed by DUS Architects, that is able to print entire interiors measuring 2 × 2 × 3.5 m. Each room will be printed separately on site before being assembled into the whole.

Different materials will be experimented with during the project. The architects want to print with materials that are sustainable, that melt at a relatively low temperature to allow the 3D printing and that are sturdy and stable. Apart from bioplastics, they are considering wood pallets and natural stone waste.

The construction site of the 3D Canal House is an open workplace and can be visited like a regular museum. DUS Architects describe the Canal House as ‘a unique project where an international team of partners collaborates in research and linking science, design and construction’.

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