Incredible 3D-printed house is built by a portable robot in just 48 hours


This incredible 3D-printed home was built by a robot in just 48 hours.

Constructed using a special quick-drying mortar, the building is the first of its kind because it can be deconstructed and reassembled at a different location.

The one-story home, which has been described as a ‘milestone’ for 3D printing construction, covers 100 square meters (1,075 square feet) and features curved walls, a living area, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

The Italian architects behind the project said it is just a proof-of-concept for now, and did not disclose how much it cost to build.

They added that the house could one day be printed on the moon to house lunar colonies. 

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This incredible 3D-printed home was built by a robot in just 48 hours. Constructed using a special quick-drying mortar, the building is the first of its kind because it can be deconstructed and reassembled at a different location

Architects used a 3D concrete printer mounted on a movable base to construct the building, named ‘3D Housing 05’, in Piazza Cesare Beccaria in Milan.

The quick-drying mortar walls set in just 24 hours, significantly faster than the four weeks that traditional concrete takes to dry.

The house is made up of 35 modules that were each printed in 60-90 minutes; meaning the full house was printed in just 48 hours.

Its fixtures and interior decorations were added later by human builders.

Lead architect Massimiliano Locatelli told lifestyle site Wallpaper: ‘My vision was to integrate new, more organic shapes in the surrounding landscapes or urban architecture.

‘The opportunity is to be a protagonist of a new revolution in architecture.’

The one-story home, which has been described as a 'milestone' for 3D printing construction, covers 100 square meters (1,075 square feet) and features curved walls, a living area, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom

The one-story home, which has been described as a ‘milestone’ for 3D printing construction, covers 100 square meters (1,075 square feet) and features curved walls, a living area, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom

The residence's quick-drying mortar walls set in just 24 hours, significantly faster than the four weeks that traditional concrete takes to dry

The residence’s quick-drying mortar walls set in just 24 hours, significantly faster than the four weeks that traditional concrete takes to dry

The Italian architects behind the project said it is just a proof-of-concept for now, and did not disclose how much the concrete house cost to build. Pictured is the building's bathroom

The Italian architects behind the project said it is just a proof-of-concept for now, and did not disclose how much the concrete house cost to build. Pictured is the building’s bathroom

Architects used a 3D concrete printer mounted on a movable base to construct the building, named '3D Housing 05', in Piazza Cesare Beccaria in Milan

Architects used a 3D concrete printer mounted on a movable base to construct the building, named ‘3D Housing 05’, in Piazza Cesare Beccaria in Milan

WHAT IS 3D PRINTING AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

First invented in the 1980s by Chuck Hull, an engineer and physicist, 3D printing technology – also called additive manufacturing – is the process of making an object by depositing material, one layer at a time.

Similarly to how an inkjet printer adds individual dots of ink to form an image, a 3D printer adds material where it is needed, based on a digital file.

Many conventional manufacturing processes involved cutting away excess materials to make a part, and this can lead to wastage of up to 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) for every one pound of useful material, according to the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

By contrast, with some 3D printing processes about 98 per cent of the raw material is used in the finished part, and the method can be used to make small components using plastics and metal powders, with some experimenting with chocolate and other food, as well as biomaterials similar to human cells.

3D printers have been sued to manufacture everything from prosthetic limbs to robots, and the process follows these basic steps:

· Creating a 3D blueprint using computer-aided design (CAD) software

· Preparing the printer, including refilling the raw materials such as plastics, metal powders and binding solutions.

· Initiating the printing process via the machine, which builds the object.

· 3D printing processes can vary, but material extrusion is the most common, and it works like a glue gun: the printing material is heated until it liquefies and is extruded through the print nozzle

· Using information from the digital file, the design is split into two-dimensional cross-sections so the printers knows where to put the material

· The nozzle deposits the polymer in thin layers, often 0.1 millimetre (0.004 inches) thick.

· The polymer rapidly solidifies, bonding to the layer below before the build platform lowers and the print head adds another layer (depending on the object, the entire process can take anywhere from minutes to days.)

· After the printing is finished, every object requires some post-processing, ranging from unsticking the object from the build platform to removing support, to removing excess powders. 

Asked where he envisioned the houses being built in future, Mr Massimiliano said: ‘Everywhere and anywhere, even on the moon.’

A number of space agencies have plans to colonise the moon in the next two decades, including the European Space Agency, which has toyed with the idea of 3D printing for more efficient lunar construction.

Projects like 3D Housing 05 could help the ESA realise its dream of building a ‘lunar village’, opening up opportunities for space tourism or even lunar mining.

The house is made up of 35 modules that were each printed in 60-90 minutes; meaning the full house was printed in just 48 hours. Its fixtures and interior decorations were added later by human builders

The house is made up of 35 modules that were each printed in 60-90 minutes; meaning the full house was printed in just 48 hours. Its fixtures and interior decorations were added later by human builders

Pictured is an external staircase on the building, which is currently on display in Piazza Cesare Beccaria in Milan

Lead architect Massimiliano Locatelli said: 'My vision was to integrate new, more organic shapes in the surrounding landscapes or urban architecture. The opportunity is to be a protagonist of a new revolution in architecture'

Lead architect Massimiliano Locatelli said: ‘My vision was to integrate new, more organic shapes in the surrounding landscapes or urban architecture. The opportunity is to be a protagonist of a new revolution in architecture’

A spokesperson for Arup, the engineering company behind the project, said: ‘This building represents a milestone for 3D printing applied to construction.

‘Robots are opening up a number of possibilities for realising the next generation of advanced buildings.’

Alongside architectural firm CLS Architects, Arup will showcase the 3D-printed house at Milan’s design festival ‘Salone del Mobile’ next month.

The team aims to demonstrate that 3D printing concrete technology is now advanced enough to produce flexible and sustainable buildings, quickly and affordably. 

A spokesperson for Arup, the engineering company behind the project, said: 'This building represents a milestone for 3D printing applied to construction.' Pictured is the house's bathroom

A spokesperson for Arup, the engineering company behind the project, said: ‘This building represents a milestone for 3D printing applied to construction.’ Pictured is the house’s bathroom

Alongside architectural firm CLS Architects, Arup will showcase the 3D-printed house at Milan's design festival 'Salone del Mobile' next month. Pictured is the house's dining room area

Alongside architectural firm CLS Architects, Arup will showcase the 3D-printed house at Milan’s design festival ‘Salone del Mobile’ next month. Pictured is the house’s dining room area

The Arup spokesperson added: ‘The construction industry is one of the world’s biggest users of resources and emitters of CO2.

‘We want to bring a paradigm shift in the way the construction industry operates and believe that 3D printing technology is critical to making buildings more sustainable and efficient.

‘It creates less waste during construction and materials can be repurposed and reused at the end of their life.’

3D-printed buildings have long been touted as a way to help cut humanity’s greenhouse emissions, and some have suggested the structures could help solve the global housing crisis.

The team aims to demonstrate that 3D printing concrete technology is now advanced enough to produce flexible and sustainable buildings, quickly and affordably

The team aims to demonstrate that 3D printing concrete technology is now advanced enough to produce flexible and sustainable buildings, quickly and affordably

The construction industry is one of the world’s biggest users of resources and emitters of CO2, and 3D-printed buildings could drastically cut these emissions

The construction industry is one of the world’s biggest users of resources and emitters of CO2, and 3D-printed buildings could drastically cut these emissions

The Arup spokesperson added: ‘We want to bring a paradigm shift in the way the construction industry operates and believe that 3D printing technology is critical to making buildings more sustainable and efficient. It creates less waste during construction and materials can be repurposed and reused at the end of their life’

Last month, Texas-based start-up Icon unveiled its single-story 650-square-foot (60 sq m) house at the SXSW festival in Austin.

The properties, which are currently at the concept stage, will soon be used to provide safe shelter for people in El Salvador and could one day be expanded worldwide to house billions.

The homes currently cost £7,200 ($10,000) to construct and take up to 24 hours to build, but for the production version this cost should be reduced to around £2,900 ($4,000).

They could also offer a viable option for the construction of off-world colonies on planets like Mars in the near future, the firm said.

Last month, Texas-based start-up Icon unveiled its single-story 650-square-foot (60 sq m) house (pictured) at the SXSW festival in Austin. The properties, which are currently at the concept stage, will soon be used to provide safe shelter for people in El Salvador and could one day be expanded worldwide to house billions 

Last month, Texas-based start-up Icon unveiled its single-story 650-square-foot (60 sq m) house (pictured) at the SXSW festival in Austin. The properties, which are currently at the concept stage, will soon be used to provide safe shelter for people in El Salvador and could one day be expanded worldwide to house billions 

Icon's homes currently cost £7,200 ($10,000) to construct and take up to 24 hours to build, but for the production version this cost should be reduced to around £2,900 ($4,000) 

Icon’s homes currently cost £7,200 ($10,000) to construct and take up to 24 hours to build, but for the production version this cost should be reduced to around £2,900 ($4,000) 

Around 1.2 billion people globally live without adequate housing, according to the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

Icon has teamed up with New Story, a nonprofit that invests in international housing, and plans to build around 100 new homes in El Salvador within the next 18 months. 

A spokesman for the firm said: ‘History has been punctuated with advances in technology and materials that provide an order-of-magnitude decrease in cost and time required to build a new home.

‘And while recent decades have brought major advances in personal technology, construction practices remain relatively unchanged since the 1950s. 

‘Icon aims to change this, ushering in a new era in construction to meet the needs of the future.’ 

They could also offer a viable option for the construction of off-world colonies on planets like Mars in the near future, the firm said. The firm has teamed up with New Story, a nonprofit that invests in international housing, and plans to build around 100 new homes in El Salvador within the next 18 months

They could also offer a viable option for the construction of off-world colonies on planets like Mars in the near future, the firm said. The firm has teamed up with New Story, a nonprofit that invests in international housing, and plans to build around 100 new homes in El Salvador within the next 18 months

In a written statement, a spokesman for the firm said: 'While recent decades have brought major advances in personal technology, construction practices remain relatively unchanged since the 1950s. Icon aims to change this, ushering in a new era in construction to meet the needs of the future'

In a written statement, a spokesman for the firm said: ‘While recent decades have brought major advances in personal technology, construction practices remain relatively unchanged since the 1950s. Icon aims to change this, ushering in a new era in construction to meet the needs of the future’

Once testing of the design has been completed, Icon will move the Vulcan printer to El Salvador to start building work on its new planned community. The process is designed to minimise labour costs and waste materials.

Once testing of the design has been completed, Icon will move the Vulcan printer to El Salvador to start building work on its new planned community. The process is designed to minimise labour costs and waste materials.





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