Products such as Form 1 and Makerbot are definitely going to have an impact on the manufacturing processes, though it may be only to a small extent in the immediate future. The possibilities, as far as 3D printing is concerned, are likely to extend beyond the simple do-it-yourself projects; it may have a great influence on the construction industry as well.
Researchers at MIT are working on projects to complete the printing of a home’s 3D frame in a day with view to cut short the time period of one month that the construction crew would usually take. The geeks may be toying with the idea, but Janjaap Ruijssenaars, a Dutch architect who is obsessed with the idea of 3D printing of a home is hoping that he will be able to achieve it by the year 2014.
Janjaap Ruijssenaars, Universe Architecture, is participating in Europan, the spatial design competition in Europe, wherein architects from more than fifteen different countries build projects over a period of two years. In this project, Ruijssenaars is associating with Enrico Dini, Italian inventor and founder of the 3D printer D-Shape. Their plan involves printing 6×9 meter chunks of frame printed using D-shape and comprising of sand as well as inorganic binder. The frame will then be filled with fiber-reinforced concrete. The final product is expected to be a two-story building with a flowing design.
In Ruijssenaars’ own words, the house has been designed by him and artist Rinus Roelofs by folding one surface as a continuous Möbius band, floors transforming into ceilings and inside into outside. The innovative production that employs innovative three dimensional printing techniques creates architecture of continuity which will have an endless range of applicabilities.
A year ago, Enrico Dini created astonishing stone structures out of sand using his 3D printer D-Shape. Janjaap Ruijssenaars and Enrico Dini are currently collaborating to build a beautiful single-piece landscaped house through 3D printing.
Ruijssenaars agreed that there are concerns as to whether the sand-based layers provided by D-Shape will have sufficient strength to support an entire building. Therefore, his plan is to work around this concern by printing out only the contours of the home and later strengthening them with the help of reinforced concrete. As of now, Ruijssenaars expects that the project will be completed in about eighteen months’ time, meaning the construction will be completed by 2014.
Though the “Landscape House” is being conceived as a part of Europan, the design is developed keeping in view the Irish coastline. According to Ruijssenaars, the location on the Irish coast is very beautiful and the developers want the design to be printed in 3D to reflect the elements of nature. He is also of the option that the landscapes are endless, but the question before them is whether they will be able to design a home with no beginning and no end. Just because Ruijssenaars is not planning to complete his project of first 3D-printed home in the world before 2014 does not mean that others have the time to nab the title before him.
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