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New Tech & Disruptive Technologies

Building houses with 3D printers

In Nantes, an entire house has been created using a 3D printer. Though the printing process is new, this is not the first experiment of its kind.

02 May. 2018 Roland Freist
Source: Ville de Nantes/Youtube
Source: Ville de Nantes/Youtube

Researchers from the University of Nantes, construction companies Bouygues Construction and Lafarge Holcim, architectural firm Tica and national housing development authority Nantes Métropole Habitat were all involved in the Yhnova project . The result: social housing in a five-room building with an area of 95 square meters.

A new 3D printing method, BatiPrint3D , was tested out during the process. First, a four-meter-long robot arm injected two parallel layers of a fast-hardening polymer foam, which served as an encasing which the robot then filled with a special concrete suitable for 3D printing. In the finished building, this forms the insulation that makes the house especially energy-efficient. The entire construction process took just 18 days.

BatiPrint3D is a new technique, as it produces the walls out of three layers. Unlike the residential home printed by construction company Huashang Tengda in China in 2016, only concrete was used in Nantes. Blocks produced on a 3D printer were pieced together to create the Canal House in Amsterdam, 3D-printed in 2014.