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Construction Begins on 3D-Printed Dutch House

A computer-rendered mockup of the 3D-printed house alongside an Amsterdam canal. Credit: DUS

(Image credit: A computer-rendered mockup of the 3D-printed house alongside an Amsterdam canal. Credit: DUS)

If you've ever played with Lego bricks, you know it can be fun to imagine, and then build, your miniature dream house. But have you ever wanted to try doing that on a real-life scale?

Dutch architectural firm DUS has started building a house via 3D printing. The pieces will be 3D printed and then assembled, almost like Lego bricks, into rooms. The rooms will then be joined together, and an outside facade will be added to finish the house.

The house is being built alongside the Buiksloter canal in northern Amsterdam, right across the narrow IJ lake from the central city, and will take three years to complete.

MORE: 10 Great 3D-Printing Projects

The KamerMaker, or 'room-maker,' DUS' custom 3D printer. Credit: DUS

(Image credit: The KamerMaker, or 'room-maker,' DUS' custom 3D printer. Credit: DUS)

DUS is using a 3D printer that the company custom made, called KamerMaker XL. ("Kamer" is Dutch for "chamber" or "room.") The printer is  held inside a protective container about 20 feet (6 meters) tall, which was also used to move the printer to the construction site. The printer is able to build pieces about 11 feet (3.5 meters) tall.

For the bricks, the company tried several materials before deciding on using an 80-percent-bio-based plastic developed by German chemical company Henkel. The printer is on-site, creating the pieces before they will be assembled by construction company Heijmans.

Last year, DUS built a 1:20 scale model of the house to test the printing process. Now the company has begun the actual fabrication of the pieces.

The grand opening of the construction site will be on March 2. The company is also making appointments for private tours of the KamerMaker and the construction site.

Source: DUS via 3D Printing Industry

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  • CaedenV
    This is fascinating!I am not sure about practicality, because that is a lot of plastic and a slow printing process, but it could lead to some really interesting changes in design and home efficiency. Plastic can be made quite impermeable to things like moisture and air. You can design standardized channels for things like insulation, cable routing, and plumbing... or even make plumbing routes built into the walls without any need for pipes. You could even make integrated features such as recessed track and can lighting or molded ceiling fans and sconce lights. Cabinetry could be built into the home's structure (no more nasty moisture or critter issues living under the cabinets), or made modular and easily replaceable/customizable. Issues with bugs and many other pests would go away as the home could be much more easily sealed and many bugs prefer wood rather than plastic. And it would bring a return of easily made arches and curved transitions between walls and ceilings with always look so nice! Lastly, depending on the types of plastic and insulators used, it could be a very quiet and sound controlled environment.Sunlight would be an issue. They need to have some sort of facade and roofing material to eat the UV light that is so good at breaking down and discoloring plastics.Then there is the issue of support. I am sure it would work OK for a single story wall structure (especially if reinforced at key points with metal beams), but would it support additional stories and a roof structure? Would it be appropriate to use as flooring with minimal reinforcement?