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This Dutch couple is all set to move into their cosy 3D printed home!4 min read

May 9, 2021 3 min read

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This Dutch couple is all set to move into their cosy 3D printed home!4 min read

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Elize and Harrie enjoy the cosy interiors of their future home.

How would you feel if you were the first people in your country to live in a 3D printed house? Well, this Dutch couple seem to be all ready to settle into theirs, as soon as possible. Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekkers were given the digital key to the slightly odd-looking home in southern Netherlands, and will officially move in by August. The single-storey home has a spacious living room and two bedrooms, and is located in a quaint, wooded area.

So how did Elize and Harrie come to live in this home? They answered an advertisement! The ad was for ‘Project Milestone’ – a joint construction and innovation project by Eindhoven University of Technology, Van Wijnen, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, Vesteda, the Municipality of Eindhoven and Witteveen+Bos.

This house is the first of a total of five being made. According to the project’s website, the house is shaped like a large boulder, which fits in well with the natural location. The website also states that this “is the world’s first commercial housing project based on 3D-concrete printing.” 

Now retired, the former shopkeepers from Amsterdam will move into their new home on August 1. However, they will only be staying there for six months.  “We are always looking for special places to live,” Dekkers told CNN.

The process

A closer look at the exterior of the home.

First things first – despite being called an experiment, this house was built to be fully functional and habitable for several decades to come.  It consists of 24 concrete elements, which were printed layer-by-layer at a plant. The elements were then transported by truck to the building site and placed on a foundation.

Hold up! Before we try and understand how the house was built, let’s understand a little about 3D printing.

We know what printing is, so does this process become three-dimensional? When you print a page, there are only two sides, or dimensions – front and back. Three-dimensional printing adds another dimension to the process, which gives volume. In a 3D printer, you can create an entire object. This process can take hours or days to complete!

These days, 3D printing is mainly used by students and designers, especially those who need to create a small model or prototype of a project they’re making. However, it’s the future applications of this technology that is exciting and hopeful. For example, experts think it’s possible to even create medical implants by using tissue from a patient, which would go a long way in helping those with disabilities.

Watch this video to understand how exactly 3D printing works:

Credit: Giphy

The printer used to construct the house consists of a robot with a mechanical arm that can move in seven different directions. These arms do all the heavy lifting to lay mortar in a particular style or pattern onto a printbed, which has been designed on a computer.  

The entire project took around a year to complete, though the physical printing took just 120 hours.

In principle, houses “built” in this way can be completed much faster and with more flexibility than traditional models. Less concrete is needed, making them more sustainable too! Over the past few years, a number of 3D-printed homes and communities have been conceptualised, promising quick build times and low construction costs. In fact, there is a plan to print an entire neighbourhood in Mexico! 

Sources: CNN, dwell.com, NDTV

Images: Project Milestone