Currently rising layer by layer in Amsterdam is the world's first house to be built by 3D printing technology.
Dutch architectural firm Dus Architects commissioned the 20-foot tall 3D printer given the name, "Kamermaker," or room builder. The project to build the 3D house is simply called the "3D Print Canal House." Dus had Kamermaker built when it decided upsize the scale-model rooms it was already 3D-printing and turn them into the real thing.
What Kamermaker does is to build a series of rooms that can be snapped together to form an entire house, Lego-brick style. So far, the printer has produced a corner of the house with a partial staircase attached. The piece weighs some 400 pounds.
Each building block takes about a week to print. It has a honeycombed internal structure that will be filled with a foam that reaches a concrete-like hardness. The entire demonstration house in Amsterdam is expected to be completed in about three years.
Dus co-founder Hans Vermeule said what is needed today is a rapid building technique to keep up with the pace with the growth of megacities, which will be the future home to most of the world's population. He thinks 3D printing can be the technique that fills the demand for future houses.
Dus see multiple benefits to 3D-printing a house. This includes near-limitless customization, recycling waste materials into useable materials and eliminating transportation costs involved in moving building materials.
The gigantic version of the ordinary 3D printer was made by Ultimaker, a Dutch firm founded in 2011. Ultimaker bills its Ultimaker printers as the best open source 3D printers in the world.