Two-Story Model Home In Belgium Was Produced In One Piece With Europe's Biggest 3D Printer

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A two-story model home is Belgium is the world's first 3D structure printed in one piece (Credit: Jasmien Smets/ Kamp C)

Experts have long predicted that 3D printing will revolutionize the construction industry by making home builds cheaper, faster, and more environmentally-friendly. However, the uptake has been slower than anticipated because 3D technology to create fully-functional homes has been considered lacking. That perception may change soon with the recent unveiling of the world's first two-story home printed in a single piece in Antwerp, Belgium.

"What makes this house so unique is that we printed it with a fixed 3D concrete printer," said Emiel Ascione, project manager at Kamp C construction company, which spearheaded the undertaking. "Other houses that were printed around the world only have one floor. In many cases, the components were printed in a factory and were assembled on-site. We, however, printed the entire building envelope in one piece on-site."

The 3D printed structure was 60 percent cheaper and three times stronger than a conventional home (Credit: Jasmien Smets/ Kamp C)

The construction process began in November 2019 with the delivery of a massive 32-foot x 32-foot cement 3D printer, known as BOD2. While it needed some human help to set up, once in operation, BOD2 was fully autonomous, requiring just one person to supervise the build from a nearby computer. Though the actual printing process took a mere three weeks, the house was constructed over a few months to fit in with the school schedules of the students working on the project. Kamp C believes technological advances will make it possible to build similar homes in about two days in the future.

The two-story, 986-square-foot, home, which was unveiled in July 2020, has a small kitchen, two living rooms, a foyer, and a bathroom, as well as numerous human-installed eco-friendly features, such as underfloor heating and solar panels. Open to the public until the end of September, it is part of the European C3PO project to showcase emerging 3D printing technologies and to encourage the continent's construction industry to adopt them in its construction techniques.

The two-story home took just three weeks to build (Credit: Jasmien Smets/ Kamp C)

"Printing this building is mainly a statement," Ascione told Digital Trends. "It shows the construction industry the accessibility and potential of this technique. The benefits of additive manufacturing are already paying off in a wide range of other industries. It's about time that housing caught up with them."

Kamp C says the 3D printed structure cost about 60 percent less than a typical brick home and was also much sturdier. "The compressive strength of the material is three times higher than the classic rapid building block," Kamp C's Marijke Aerts told Design Boom.

This is not the only exciting 3D printed housing project in the works. In Tabasco, Mexico, US-based nonprofit New Story has teamed up with tech company ICON to build the world's first 3D printed neighborhood. The two-bedroom homes, designed to combat homelessness, are strong enough to withstand natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also joined the 3D printing movement with the recent completion of a 6,900-square-foot house in Dubai using local materials. At this rate, 3D printers may soon become a fixture at construction sites worldwide.

Resources: ec.europa.eu, newatlas.com, www.kampc.be

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187 Comments
  • wolf123489
    wolf1234893 months
    that house is really cool
    • basketballanime
      wow I wish we had one ... #3dprintmansion>
      • maya4529
        maya45293 months
        Wow it is so cool i want one
        • renel1
          renel14 months
          i want to have one!its so cool!
          • colt11
            colt116 months
            wow that is so crazy we have in our class a 3D printer and i thought it was big but compared to this one it is tiny
            • superunique918
              That is super cool that they are 3D printing these houses but my question is.. how are they suppose to pay the electricity bills?
              • dyannafarlow
                dyannafarlow9 months
                that is really cool
                • marypopcorn
                  marypopcorn9 months
                  Does anyone live there? If no-one lives there, then it is just a waste.
                  • adroit_avimimus
                    Someone who wants to live there will probably buy it for some cash.
                  • 100109012
                    10010901211 months
                    I want to live in that so much that if I live in a manchen and that was a small house I live there
                    • neonala0620
                      neonala0620about 1 year
                      imagine if all the people without homes could have one