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"Endless" house to be built using giant 3D printer

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January 22, 2013

Amsterdam-based Universe Architecture hopes to build the world's first 3D-printed house as...

Amsterdam-based Universe Architecture hopes to build the world's first 3D-printed house as early as 2014 (Image: Universe Architecture)

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An Amsterdam-based architecture firm has ambitions to take 3D printing to the next level, by building the world's first 3D-printed house as early as 2014. The team at Universe Architecture, led by Janjaap Ruijssenaars, hope to use a D-Shape 3D printer to form a Möbius strip-shaped structure and create a home that is "endless" in its design, where occupants can walk continuously through the building.

For the project, Universe Architecture is working with mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs, to design what is being called the “Landscape House.” The building will be part of the biennial Europan competition, which seeks to highlight architectural projects created by young designers in 15 countries.

Designed as a singular structure, the Landscape House will be fabricated in 6 x 9-meter (19.6 x 29.5-foot) portions using the massive D-shape 3D printer and then interlocked into the continuous strip form. Designed by Italian inventor Enrico Dini, the D-Shape will use thin layers of sand and an inorganic binder to build up molds for the frame structure. Each frame section will then be filled with fiberglass and concrete to provide rigidity and strength to the 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft) building.

The Landscape House, initially designed for the biennial Europan architecture competition,...

Ruijssenaars estimates the build will cost 4-5 million Euros (US$5.3-6.7m) and hopes the 3D method can be replicated all over the world in structures such as museums, visitor centers and private homes. Having previously won acclaim for his Floating Bed design, he also hopes that the Landscape House will one day be open to the public and demonstrate the project premise of a landscape within a landscape, or “Architecture of continuity with an endless array of applicability.”

The build will use one of the largest 3D printers available, to fabricate sections which w...

The project is reminiscent of the WikiHouse construction system, in which building component templates can be downloaded and then "printed" using a CNC milling machine.

The video below from Universe Architecture explains the essence of the Landscape House.

Source: Universe Architecture via Archinect

About the Author
Donna Taylor After years of working in software delivery, Donna seized the opportunity to head back to university and this time study a lifelong passion: Architecture. Originally from the U.K. and after living in many countries, Donna and her family are now settled in Western Australia. When not writing Donna can be found at the University of Western Australia's Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts Department.   All articles by Donna Taylor
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13 Comments

so the printer will build the molds that will then be filled with concrete and fiberglass ... I assume he could have built the molds using old fashioned wood and steel but 3D printing is the new "thing" I guess ...

Jeffrey J Carlson
22nd January, 2013 @ 08:49 am PST

I agree. I am only mildly impressed with printing "forms" for concrete. Based on the title I was expecting something from this company or something like it: http://singularityhub.com/2012/08/22/3d-printers-may-someday-construct-homes-in-less-than-a-day/

I guess we still have awhile to wait before you can custom build your house in less time than it takes traditional construction contractors to start framing.

VirtualGathis
22nd January, 2013 @ 10:48 am PST

@jeffrey that was my reading of it as well.

It doesn't seem like the printer itself is creating the parts of the building.

I would call this article extremely mislabeled.

"molds for sections of a house to be created using a 3d printer" seems more appropriate.

There are some interesting youtube videos of 3d printed concrete walls, and some of the process going into that. THOSE are actually attempting to 3d print a house some day.

MockingBird TheWizard
22nd January, 2013 @ 10:54 am PST

"The team at Universe Architecture, led by Janjaap Ruijssenaars, hope to use a D-Shape 3D printer to form a Möbius strip-shaped structure and create a home that is "endless" in its design, where occupants can walk continuously through the building."

There's this shape called a 'circle' which they need to become acquainted with...

Joel Detrow
22nd January, 2013 @ 12:10 pm PST

It may not be as interesting as when a house is printed out entirely but building molds for concrete may make it to market sooner or may make designs which would be too difficult for 3D printers to form out of concrete more practical. Maybe it will get blown away by full 3D manufacturing or 3D mold printing may become a stepping stone towards full 3D printing in the construction industry. Maybe even a hybrid system will be developed that is superior to both. At any rate it is good to see new things being tried.

Snake Oil Baron
22nd January, 2013 @ 01:02 pm PST

It is hard to envision the stairs at the ends of the structure but the main problem is that it will take forever to wash all the curtains you would need on that house. You'd need to quit smoking before moving in there or spring cleaning would produce enough smoke laden curtain water to turn the entire country side yellow. Maybe just hang up tooth whitening strips instead of curtains.

Snake Oil Baron
22nd January, 2013 @ 01:08 pm PST

I'm beginning to get the feeling that 3-D printing is a solution in search of a problem. The best things I've seen so far are just novelty sculptures.The actual process is tediously slow.

Printing spare parts for electronic appliances is definitely a far fetched idea. The appliances would have to be dismantled to find that which part was broken, then you need to get the software from the manufacturer to reproduce the part at home, on your 3-D printer. It's not worth the effort, really, is it ? Usually they just put the spare part in the post.

windykites1
23rd January, 2013 @ 07:57 am PST

why is it suddenly fashionable to make everything by ''printing"?

by what definition is this process ''printing''>?

the thing costs $5million

no mention of what the ''printer''costs

or how you would move it to the next 'print job'

wle

wle
23rd January, 2013 @ 08:36 am PST

Looks like a skateboarders dream house. No furniture allowed only rails.

Robert M. Moynihan
23rd January, 2013 @ 09:09 am PST

This whole idea seems overly trendy and contrived. There's no magic in the shape of a mobius strip as far as living space for humans goes. They can walk endlessly around their square house as it is.

If they were 'printing' the actual structure, I might be interested. If they were creating virtual 3D spaces that actually kept the weather out, fine. If they were employing new materials and processing, new erecting regimes, anything actually useful, great.

But this? It's like a kid's science project jammed together with psychedelic drugs.

flylowguy
23rd January, 2013 @ 09:18 am PST

Here in western NY there is a guy named Wendell Castle who has achieved some prominence building art furniture. He and his employees produce absolutely flawless objects with perfect surfaces. However, Wendell's crap Aint Art and it Aint good furniture. Great to look at, usually, just not actually good for very much. This is essentially the same. Some interesting features but fundamentally not good for much and not likely to endure past the dump by date for advertising.

StWils
23rd January, 2013 @ 11:26 am PST

A square, rectangular or circular house built around a central courtyard would also seem to qualify as "endless" in its design, without having to climb unnecessary steps of inclines...

Radix Malum
23rd January, 2013 @ 02:08 pm PST

I'm pretty sure I could come up with a better use of 4 mil euros. That's not to put down art, or 3D printing (I've personally seen some pretty good stuff out of a 3D printer, so I have to disagree with the naysayers there) but forms for a brutalist mobius strip? It is not aesthetically pleasing, technologically innovative, useful, or a beginning to the solution of any real problem. In fact, it's worse than a mobius bagel (and those are pretty bad, but at least they are mathematically interesting and cheap).

Charles Bosse
23rd January, 2013 @ 05:03 pm PST
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