Houses Out of the 3D Printer

In Germany, the first 3D-printed home was recently completed and christened. It can be found in Beckum and brings with it 160 square meters of space. Now the idea of 3D printing homes will be looked at carefully to determine whether it is useful for the future and commercial use in the construction industry.

Aerial Top View with from Flying Drone

With the help of the North Rhine-Westphalia state government, the first 3D house was successfully printed in Germany. The house is 160 square meters big and is located in the German city, Beckum. Furthermore, a couple already moved in the first 3D-printed home in the Netherlands, being presumably the first in Europe to live in such a house.

First 3D Printed House in Germany

Last month the first house out of a 3D printer was christened in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The architect Waldemar Korte explained that the project was completed in eight months, with the aim of the next house being finished in five months while needing less staff.

Last fall the work on the home in Beckum began. The material and equipment that were required were so out of the ordinary, that the construction site had to be secured. The equivalent of ink for the regular printer is special concrete for the oversized 3D house printer. Like a cake, the two-story house is printed layer by layer. As with the little figures from commercial 3D printers, you will find the typical grooves that are created with each layer.

The mastermind behind this project is the local Beckum business Hous3druck, while the company Peri is responsible for the printing process with concrete. The used material, which was specially created for 3D printing, is called “Itech 3D” and was developed by HeidelbergCement. A 200.000 Euro contribution was made by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, which was a good investment according to the North Rhine-Westphalia minister of construction Ina Scharrenbach. She also says that this type of 3D printing is a revolution for the construction branch, due to the fact that less material is needed while being more environmental-friendly. And if the house is not needed anymore, it can be cleaned and printed anew.

Compared to regular new houses that are being created, the two-story 3D print home has noticeably round corners. With 160 square meters, the house is very spacious and ideal to live in. After this project, the technology is going to be reviewed to determine how to apply it most efficiently in the future.

In comparison, a couple already moved into a 3D-printed home in the Netherlands. It was built in Eindhoven. The company Weber Benelux created the first out of five within “Project Milestone”, while also wanting to determine the applications possibilities of 3D printing in the field of construction.

Project Milestone in the Netherlands

In April the first residents of the first-ever 3D printed concrete home in the Netherlands got the keys to their home. The house, which can be found in Eindhoven, is the number one of five that are planned in the so-called “Project Milestone”.

The home fulfills all the building regulations needed in the Netherlands. The house is very unique with its own innovative design thanks to the freedom given by 3D concrete printing and extensive research. In comparison to the German version, it is a single-story home with 94 square meters. It has two bedrooms and a big living room. It is shaped like a large boulder, which is no coincidence. It was intentionally done to show the freedom that 3D printing provides while also taking on the challenge of printing inclining walls, which was conquered by this project’s members.

The house is made of 24 printed concrete elements which were printed layer by layer at the printing plant in Eindhoven. Due to extra dense insulation and a link to the heat grid, the home is extremely comfortable and energy-efficient, with an energy performance coefficient of 0.25.

Theo Salet, one of the project partners and Professor of Concrete Structures, Eindhoven University of Technology:

“With this small building, a first major step has been taken today in the development of construction into a high-quality manufacturing industry. From design to implementation, digitalization leads to sustainable and affordable homes tailored to the wishes of the occupant. I’m proud that the knowledge we’ve developed at TU/e has led to this innovation by industry, with the help of the municipality, within a short timeframe.”

The experience gained from this project offers many construction possibilities to the usual rectangular houses. Each of the five houses is being formed one after the other so that after each finished home the educational opportunity created can be maximized.

Bas Huysmans, CEO of Weber Benelux:

“With the printing insulated and self-supporting wall elements curved in three planes, we’ve taken important steps in this project in the further development of 3D concrete printing in construction. Together with all partners, we’ve completed a challenging process and realized a very special home. I think that we’ll soon be able to proudly add the Milestone houses to the list of iconic projects in Eindhoven.”

In theory, printed homes can be created a lot quicker with more flexibility and customized designs. Furthermore, it is more sustainable as less concrete is required. The hope and goal of the Project Milestone partners is for 3D concrete printing to ultimately become a sustainable construction technique that provides a resolution to the shortage of housing.

Would you want to live in a 3D-printed house? If you could print your house however you wished, what would you look out for first?

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