Can you 3D print a whole house?

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Offline thedoc

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Can you 3D print a whole house?
« on: 30/04/2014 02:30:01 »
One team changing how our homes might be built are DUS Architects in Amsterdam. They’re currently 3D printiting a whole canal house...
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or [chapter podcast=1000679 track=14.04.29/Naked_Scientists_Show_14.04.29_1002239.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 30/04/2014 02:30:01 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can you 3D print a whole house?
« Reply #1 on: 30/04/2014 03:48:01 »
2 ˝ and 2 ˝ by 3 ˝ meters high.
That still sounds a bit small.  Although, many of the Dutch houses are very narrow.  I could imagine a footprint of 30' or 40' (10 to 15 meters) on each side.  Perhaps going up taller, or a method for the frame to go up with the house.

Do they use fiber reinforcements?   Like fiberglass?  How do hot and cold days affect the plastics? 

There is a lot to a house that goes beyond the basic frame.  Wiring, plumbing, fixtures, lighting, windows, etc, along with a wide variety of materials.  Some things like PEX is popular now for plumbing, but printed PEX would have to be designed with strength in mind.

What about plastic embrittlement?  Many of the plastic products that I have that are over 20 years old are in pretty bad shape.  Will the house hold up for a century? 

Now, I could imagine a system that was part robot, part printer that would mold various reinforcements and materials together when building the house.

Finally, how do the printed houses react in fires?  There have been concerns about the toxicity of burning plastic, when attempting to exit a burning building.