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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178 Comments
  • bdubood
    bduboodWednesday, January 6, 2021 at 7:19 am
    I would be sooooo cool if you had that 3D Printer You could print a Giant statue of your self!
    • kath648
      kath648Monday, January 4, 2021 at 7:30 am
      Ooo so cool! I wonder how much it costs. Maybe even homeless people can live in these houses! Like if you agree!
      • swimmeraddie
        swimmeraddieFriday, February 19, 2021 at 7:31 am
        I looked it up and they're only $4,000!
      • unipug2
        unipug2Friday, December 18, 2020 at 4:49 pm
        It is epico!!
        • therealsnakes
          therealsnakesThursday, December 17, 2020 at 12:46 pm
          So cool
          • tiny00
            tiny00Monday, December 14, 2020 at 7:17 am
            I wonder if it can survive a tornado?
            • josie09
              josie09Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 8:17 am
              I think it says that it can.
            • bluedemon
              bluedemonTuesday, December 8, 2020 at 6:54 pm
              a cool house!
              • maria_goodvibes
                maria_goodvibesTuesday, December 8, 2020 at 12:33 pm
                That's really cool!!! I've never ever seen. that before!!
                • aydenmann35
                  aydenmann35Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 10:31 am
                  THAT WAS SO AMAZING
                  • neonala
                    neonalaWednesday, December 2, 2020 at 7:18 am
                    THAT IS SO COOL!
                    • broblox24689
                      broblox24689Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 11:57 am
                      its a great house!