March 30, 2014
Work begins on the world's first 3D-printed house : Zero waste, lower transport costs and recyclable materials - is 3D-printing the future of housebuilding? Dutch architects are putting the process to the test for the first time in Amsterdam (Oliver Wainwright, 3/28/14, The Guardian)
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 30, 2014 1:47 PMTreacle-black plastic oozes from a nozzle at the bottom of a small tower in Amsterdam, depositing layer upon layer of glistening black worms in an orderly grid. With a knot of pipes and wires rising up to a big hopper, it looks like a high-tech liquorice production line. But this could be the future of house-building, if Dus Architects have their way.On this small canal-side plot in the north of the city, dotted with twisting plastic columns and strange zig-zag building blocks, the architects have begun making what they say will be the world's first 3D-printed house."The building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient industries out there," says Hedwig Heinsman of Dus. "With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities."Working on site for three weeks, the architects have so far produced a 3m-high sample corner of their future house, printed as a single piece weighing 180kg. It is one of the building blocks that will be stacked up like Lego bricks over the next three years to form a 13-room complex, modelled on a traditional Dutch gabled canal house, but with hand-laid bricks replaced by a faceted plastic facade, scripted by computer software.