A Dutch couple has become Europe’s first tenants of an entirely 3D printed property, with its backers suggesting that this will open up a world of choice in the shape and style of future homes.
Retired shopkeepers from Amsterdam, Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekkers, are the first inhabitants of a 3D-printed house. The couple received their digital key – an app that allows them to open the front door of their two-bedroom bungalow at the press of a button.
Inspired by the shape of a boulder, this property is the first of five homes that has been planned by the construction firm Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix. Its dimensions would usually be difficult and expensive to construct by traditional methods, making this new style of property a cheaper alternative to your usual property.
The 3D printing method involves a large robotic arm with a nozzle that spurts out a specially formulated cement. This cement is ‘printed’ according to the architect’s design, adding several layers to create the wall and increase its strength.
The nozzle head must be changed every few hours as the hours of operation begin to be visible in the patter of the walls. These are small errors in the cement printing, something that is familiar to anyone who has used an ink printer.
Despite this being early days, the 3D printing method is seen by many in the construction industry to cut costs and reduce environmental impact by reducing the amount of cement used. Particularly in the Netherlands, it also provides an alternative at a time where there is a shortage of skilled bricklayers.
According to the designers of the property, it took 120 hours to print. They added, if they were to print this in one go, it would have taken them less than five days! With the creation of the 3D-printed home, it is now setting the tone for the future – affordable homes with control over the shape of your house.