Up until now, 3D printing has largely been driven by made-to-order online companies (like Shapeways) alongside a growing number of small and comparatively inexpensive home printers pitched at hobbyists. But the trend looks to be moving to a new level with the announcement of the first 3D-printed building.
Dubbed the ‘Landscape House’ the project is the brainchild of two Dutchmen – architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars and mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs – and will be an official entry into the biannual Europan achitecture competition.
The design will be suitably improbable, taking the form of a double-banded, open and brightly-lit Mobius stripÂ - essentially a wide flat ribbon containing a twist that would be difficult to construct using traditional building methods.
Floor plan from above.
The designers plan to use the D-Shape system, a large-scale 3D printer in the UK intended specifically for construction work, which prints using a mixture of sand and an inorganic binding agent. The building’s frame will be printed as a series of 6 x 9 metre sections, with joint and other supporting sections filled with fibreglass-reinforced concrete to increase strength.
The sections will be assembled together into the final shape in Ireland. “The location on the coast is so beautiful that we want the design to reflect the nature. Landscapes are endless and our question was whether we can design a home that has no beginning and no end,” said Ruijssenaars.
The building should be completed by the end of 2014.
For more on the topic of 3D printing, check out our previous video on Australia’s first sub-$1,000 3D printer: