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Tuesday 17.07.2018 | Name days: Aleksejs, Aleksis

3D-printed canal home takes shape in Amsterdam

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It sounds like the ultimate do-it-yourself project: the print-your-own-home. In place of bricks and mortar and the need for a construction crew, a customisable building plan which transforms itself from computer screen graphics into a real-world abode thanks to the latest in 3D printing technology.

That dream is still beyond our reach, but several teams of architects across the globe are engaged in efforts to take a major step towards it by creating the world’s first 3D-printed homes, writes BBC.

Amsterdam-based Dus Architects is one of the firms involved – it plans to print a canal house in the Dutch capital.

It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on that premise; the machine will not modestly 3D-print the usual cup, curtain ring or piece of jewellery, but an actual building.

The printer that will make this possible – the KamerMaker – is a marvel in itself. The name translates from Dutch as “room-maker”.

With a shiny metallic exterior, built from the carcass of a shipping container, it is 6m (19ft 8in) tall and would easily fill the average sitting room.

Using different types of plastics and wood fibres, the device takes computer-drawn plans and uses them to make first the building’s exterior walls, then the ceilings and other parts of individual rooms and then finally its furniture.

Each part is created using a layer-by-layer process in which solid objects take shape by printing thin “slices” of the construction materials, one level at a time, which bind together.

The pieces will be assembled on site like a huge jigsaw with parts attached to each other thanks to some of their edges having being shaped like giant Lego pieces, and the use of steel cabling to “sew” the elements together.

By the end of this year the fully printed facade of the building will be erected, though it will be several more years before the project is completed.

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