Two-Story Model Home In Belgium Was Produced In One Piece With Europe's Biggest 3D Printer

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A two-story model home is Belgium is the world's first 3D structure printed in one piece (Credit: Jasmien Smets/ Kamp C)

Experts have long predicted that 3D printing will revolutionize the construction industry by making home builds cheaper, faster, and more environmentally-friendly. However, the uptake has been slower than anticipated because 3D technology to create fully-functional homes has been considered lacking. That perception may change soon with the recent unveiling of the world's first two-story home printed in a single piece in Antwerp, Belgium.

"What makes this house so unique is that we printed it with a fixed 3D concrete printer," said Emiel Ascione, project manager at Kamp C construction company, which spearheaded the undertaking. "Other houses that were printed around the world only have one floor. In many cases, the components were printed in a factory and were assembled on-site. We, however, printed the entire building envelope in one piece on-site."

The 3D printed structure was 60 percent cheaper and three times stronger than a conventional home (Credit: Jasmien Smets/ Kamp C)

The construction process began in November 2019 with the delivery of a massive 32-foot x 32-foot cement 3D printer, known as BOD2. While it needed some human help to set up, once in operation, BOD2 was fully autonomous, requiring just one person to supervise the build from a nearby computer. Though the actual printing process took a mere three weeks, the house was constructed over a few months to fit in with the school schedules of the students working on the project. Kamp C believes technological advances will make it possible to build similar homes in about two days in the future.

The two-story, 986-square-foot, home, which was unveiled in July 2020, has a small kitchen, two living rooms, a foyer, and a bathroom, as well as numerous human-installed eco-friendly features, such as underfloor heating and solar panels. Open to the public until the end of September, it is part of the European C3PO project to showcase emerging 3D printing technologies and to encourage the continent's construction industry to adopt them in its construction techniques.

The two-story home took just three weeks to build (Credit: Jasmien Smets/ Kamp C)

"Printing this building is mainly a statement," Ascione told Digital Trends. "It shows the construction industry the accessibility and potential of this technique. The benefits of additive manufacturing are already paying off in a wide range of other industries. It's about time that housing caught up with them."

Kamp C says the 3D printed structure cost about 60 percent less than a typical brick home and was also much sturdier. "The compressive strength of the material is three times higher than the classic rapid building block," Kamp C's Marijke Aerts told Design Boom.

This is not the only exciting 3D printed housing project in the works. In Tabasco, Mexico, US-based nonprofit New Story has teamed up with tech company ICON to build the world's first 3D printed neighborhood. The two-bedroom homes, designed to combat homelessness, are strong enough to withstand natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also joined the 3D printing movement with the recent completion of a 6,900-square-foot house in Dubai using local materials. At this rate, 3D printers may soon become a fixture at construction sites worldwide.

Resources: ec.europa.eu, newatlas.com, www.kampc.be

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73 Comments
  • moviestar-girl3
    moviestar-girl3Friday, September 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm
    Welcome home to them!
    • wavebreaker
      wavebreakerFriday, September 18, 2020 at 10:57 am
      That would be so much easier to build and if they could build a 3D house I wonder if they could make computers and more!!!
      • cherryblossom28
        cherryblossom28Friday, September 18, 2020 at 9:17 am
        Wow!This is so cool!!!
        • netflixandchips
          netflixandchipsFriday, September 18, 2020 at 9:14 am
          I wish i lived there that would be so cool saying that you live in a 3D printed house XD
          • wokihavy-160029736150
            wokihavy-160029736150Friday, September 18, 2020 at 9:11 am
            me too so cool!!!!!!!!
            • bibuwugi-160029735965
              bibuwugi-160029735965Friday, September 18, 2020 at 9:03 am
              I would like to live there
              • starman105
                starman105Friday, September 18, 2020 at 8:23 am
                This is so cool!
                • d-boggg
                  d-bogggFriday, September 18, 2020 at 8:15 am
                  extremlycool######amazing
                  • carter1ww
                    carter1wwFriday, September 18, 2020 at 7:54 am
                    i wish i lived there
                    • annafantastic
                      annafantasticFriday, September 18, 2020 at 7:12 am
                      COOL!!!!!!