The world of 3D printed sure has exploded in recent years!
(Psst… If you aren’t fully familiar with 3D printing, be sure to read our full article about it here!)
When it first came out, everyone thought 3D printing would be a huge hit – but sadly, progress has been slower than expected on the consumer side. (Too bad – it would have been great to print toilet paper a few months ago!)
However, even though 3D printing hasn’t reached the average household quite yet, major advances are being made in other areas.
And when we say major, we mean really huge… because recently, a gigantic 3D printer in Belgium built an entire house in a single printing run.
Wait… what? How do you print a house?!
Very carefully, of course! In this case, literally layer by layer.The printer was made by Belgian company Kamp C (and technically, so was the house). The 950-square-foot, two-story house was built in one go, using a 32-square-foot 3D printer called a “gantry printer”.
The gantry printer is similar to the 3D printer you’re probably familiar with. It involves a moving printing head that lays materials according to a blueprint. If you’ve ever seen a 3D printer, just imagine that… but huge.
The house was printed with concrete, which is the easiest to shape with a printer. The windows, doors and solar panels were added afterward.
Kamp C has plans to use the technique to create all sorts of buildings – for all sorts of purposes.
Image source: kampc.be
In this case, the building is shaped like a house – but it’s actually quite versatile. “Our aim was to print the floor area, height, and shape of an average contemporary home, in the form of a model home with multipurpose options. The building can be used as a house, a meeting space, an office, or an exhibition space,” said Kamp C architect Piet Wielemans.
Cool! Can I have one?
Maybe! But it will probably be a while before we’re all living in our 3D-printed dream homes.
Surprisingly, printing entire houses is a very time-consuming process. This particular house took 3 weeks to complete, though Kamp C believes they’ll eventually be able to lower that time to 2 days.
That said, this is just the beginning… and it opens up plenty of possibilities. 3D printing has the potential to drastically lower labor and material costs (by 60% or more) along with speeding up construction times. The result? Better access to adequate housing worldwide.
Alright, your turn! If you could print anything you wanted, what would you print? Let us know in the comments below!