Over the past few years it has become increasingly evident that 3D printing technologies will have a big impact on not only the aerospace, medical, and consumer industries, but could also be at the forefront of a revolution within the field of construction. While we may not be living in 3D printed homes in the very near future, there are a number of promising projects that have come to life over the past few years which have shown us what the potentials of 3D printed construction really are. From fully constructed homes and pavilions, to architectural installations, to projects that are still being realized, lets take a look at some of our favorite 3D printed construction projects to see both the amazing trajectory of additive manufacturing within the field and (let’s be honest) some really cool buildings
1: WinSun China’s 3D printed villa
First on our list had to be WinSun China’s absolutely amazing 3D printed villas, homes, and apartment blocks . The company, which as early as 2014 was 3D printing homes measuring 200 square meters each out of concrete, has since made headlines for the construction of the highest 3D printed building (a five-story apartment block) as well as the world’s first 3D printed villa which measures an impressive 1,100 square meters. How has WinSun achieved such a high level of success in the early stages of 3D printed construction, you may ask? Well, they owe their success to two main things: their innovative 3D printing material which combines recycled construction waste, glass fiber, steel, cement, and other additives; and their large scale 3D printer, which measures an astounding 6.6 meters in height, 10 meters wide, and 150 meters long, making it not only the largest “3D house printed in the world“ but also the first continuously printing machine.
2: Dubai’s 3D printed office
Next up is Dubai’s very own, and the world’s very first 3D printed office building , which was constructed in just 17 days. Built from a mixture of cement and other building additives, and built using a 3D printing platform that measured 20 feet high, 120 feet long, and 40 feet wide, the office space was unveiled in May 2016 and is already up and running. The 3D printed office is currently serving as the temporary work space for the Dubai Future Foundation and is located in the vicinity of the Emirates Towers. Also notable about this amazing project is that not only was the office’s sleek exterior structure made with 3D printing, but its interior components, even including its electrical, water, and telecommunications systems were all made with the help of 3D printing technologies.
3: Amsterdam’s 3D Print Canal House
In keeping with the theme of Dutch architecture, our next project on the list is the very exciting 3D Print Canal House project, which has been underway in Amsterdam since early 2014. The project was initiated by DUS Architects and is still being worked on by a dedicated team in Amsterdam’s North shore. Using a large 2 x 2 x 3.5 meter KamerMaker 3D printer and a score of different plastic materials, the canal house is being printed piece by piece to be assembled. What’s especially exciting about the project is that it has made its progress open to the public, so that locals can see how the 3D Print Canal House is coming along.
4: WinSun’s 3D printed Chinese courtyard
WinSun China, the company that has built an impressive number of 3D printed housing structures, also dabbled in other types of architecture earlier this year having presented their stunning 3D printed Chinese courtyards which were inspired by the Classical Gardens of Suzhou. The original gardens, which date back a thousand years are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List, are stunningly delicate and have inspired Chinese gardens up to this date. WinSun’s 3D printed Chinese courtyard for its part, was designed by Ma YiHe and features a gallery, garden, windows, a bed, vertical green walls (which can hold plants), and 3D printed chairs and tiles. Two courtyards were made in total, one measuring 130 square meters, and other slightly smaller at 80 square meters.
5: Ruijssenaars’ 3D printed Landscape House
While this particular project hasn’t been realized yet it is still one of our favorites, as it shows how 3D printing can open the doors for not only more efficient building practices but also for seemingly impossible building designs. The Landscape House , conceived of and designed by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars in 2013, has kept up excitement over the past few years through the unveiling of a 3D printed bench inspired by its design, as well as the creation of the 3D Builder , a freeform concrete 3D printer. This machine, which was developed by Universe Architecture and construction company BAM, will help to finally build Ruijssenaars’ stunning and seemingly endless Landscape House.