Tech

3D printing: 3D printer builds two-story house

A finished house in a few weeks: In Belgium, a consortium of several companies and a university built a house with a 3D printer. According to those involved, it is the first multi-story 3D printed house in Europe.

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The house is located in Westerlo in the Flanders region in the north of the country. It is eight meters high and has two floors. So far there have only been one-story 3D printed houses, said Emiel Ascione, Project manager at Kamp C, the center for sustainability and innovation in construction in the province of Flanders.

The total area of ​​the house is 90 square meters. The walls are made of concrete, which is said to be significantly more stable than conventional bricks. It was applied by a large 3D printer. So no formwork was needed, which saved material, time and money.

A 3D printer can be used to build shapes other than conventional techniques. One aim of the C3PO project (an abbreviation for co-creatie: 3D-Printen met Ondernemingen, for example: co-creation: 3D printing with companies) is to test what is possible with the additive construction method. For example, the house has curved walls, Ascione said. There were different types of walls, an overhang was crouched. In addition, it should be checked whether the material is also permanently stable.

It took about three weeks to print the walls after days of printing. In the future, Ascione’s colleague Marijke Aerts believes that the printing of a house could be completed in two days.

The building on the Kamp C site is to be converted into a low-energy house. It is to have underfloor and ceiling heating, solar cells on the facade and a heat pump. The roof is greened.

A total of eight partners were involved in the project, including the Thomas More University in Leuven, where the project was developed. There were also architects and companies from the construction industry.

It is not the first construction project using 3D printing. In Mexico, the non-profit organization New Story, together with the US company Icon, printed two houses at the end of last year, with the aim of building the first 3D-printed settlement in the world. The first 3D-printed house has already been occupied in Nantes in France. In Madrid, a bridge built using a 3D printer has spanned a watercourse in a park for two years.

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