Building Homes using 3D Printers


Hey, I just came across this idea that sounds really cool in theory, but I'm wondering if you experts out there would know if it's actually technically possible.

3D printing to create ultra-high efficiency passive solar buildings:

Each home is custom built to minimize heating and cooling costs by using techniques to take advantage of its natural environment. Currently, they are looking into building the homes through a combination of modular construction and 3D printing.

It seems crazy to 3D print housing but the resulting cuts in energy consumption are huge! What do you guys think?

Jul 2, 13 4:57 pm

Bullshit. 100% pure unadulterated bullshit.

Jul 2, 13 8:55 pm

I took a shit this morning hehe

Curious. But not realistic for anything but an expensive experiment. Maybe someday more realistic...
Jul 3, 13 12:53 am

3D printing technology is quickly advancing and is soon expected to become one of the mainstream leading technologies in society,One of the greatest benefits of 3D printing has been experienced through its facilitation of organ transplants in the medical field.

merlin group

Jul 3, 13 5:40 am

i believe i saw a thing on here where someone is actually building a building with a 3d printer.  the design of the printer itself can easily be scaled as big as you want.

i'm pretty sure the 3d printer house isn't going to be more energy efficient than traditional construction just because it's built different or because it's blobby instead of having square corners.  pretty sure the world just doesn't work that way.

3d printers squirt this plastic stuff that happens to be pretty expensive.  also, houses tend to be quite large.  i think the material part would be a big hurdle to overcome.

Jul 3, 13 7:25 am
USC has been doing research on 3D printing for quite a while.
Jul 3, 13 12:49 pm
Yeah, I think this reduces the complexity of a building to just one or two components of a design. And is really expensive. But could become something someday. Is it structural? Is it fire resistant? What about weatherproof? Etc...
Jul 3, 13 3:22 pm

Beyond previously mentioned issues:

How to wire, plumb, heat, cool, ventilate? How to maintain or update? Health and environmental factors? etc., etc., etc.

This is an exercise in idiocy. A "sustainable house" made out of plastic? LOL

Jul 3, 13 6:01 pm
+1 miles
Jul 3, 13 6:43 pm

^ Don't give it praise, it will only get keep reacting like drunk.


How to wire, plumb, heat, cool, ventilate? How to maintain or update? Health and environmental factors
All of which can be modeled, but which don't necessarily need to be printed.

There is also something called "design"


Some luddites just love sanding their chairs


Jul 3, 13 9:52 pm

hey, why not. Sears did it a hundred years ago. Of course, after a decade or so, they figured out that the real money was in financing home building and repair, and it only took them another decade to figure oit that the repair part was a much better way to go.

Jul 3, 13 10:06 pm

have, by any other name, is still an ass. Never anything constructive to add, always popping up to attack with a new name as if nobody would recognize the stink. Can't remember his other names, just that he's changed them at least three or four times after I've called him out.

Remote diagnosis: Borderline personality disorder.

have, you should really get some treatment for that.

Jul 3, 13 11:31 pm

Nice way of dodging the facts and topic Mr. Wilson.

Off to the library you go now, learning never ends.

Jul 4, 13 1:12 am
boy in a well

reading Patrik Schumacher is like reading Jacob Burckhardt.

what was that about libraries?

old is old.

learning never ends.

Jul 4, 13 6:12 am

While this may seem interesting from a glance, one has to also imagine a tidal wave of resistance this would get from the trades. I mean, just for a second, imagine developers being at the forefront of 3d printer builds, forcing the role of architect to the sidelines. Or pick another example if you like....and fill in the gaps.

Conceptually 3d printing is going to go places, much like 3d tv's OR netbooks were the rage a few years ago. The difference, 3d printing will keep people's attentions longer. There's always going to be a man vs machine debate waiting in the aisles. More and more of these debates are happening already e.g. driver less cars.

Jul 7, 13 8:10 pm

nycdesigns - I believe this wouldn't force architects to the sidelines. Architects would of course still design the buildings and 3D printing would allow them to explore new designs and structures. Imagine developers don't have the expertise to build structures! 

Jul 10, 13 5:26 am

we do 3d printing so we had lots of ideas about architectural application. as that article states material can be adjusted to specific needs. this is not there yet but we are very close. We have one client who asked us to print stem cells so they have bone structure  :) so why not buildings [ps: no we did not print steam cells as we had to rebuild our printer]

I think as of now there are many parts in buildings that can be 3d printed and optimize whole design. EX: you can have very rigid brick but it can be hollow inside (support walls) so you can drop weight, or you can do metal beams with complex shapes that are hard to produce with casting or extrusion. 

If we would have enough money we diffidently would try to use metal 3d printer on construction site and print while support beams right on the spot, in that way almost no manual labor is needed. I think that will happen very soon by some big $$$ company. 

Sep 2, 13 11:16 am

^ i think this brings up a good point.

I think the 'set it and forget it' model of 3d printing for an entire home is really far off, at least as a practical method.

However,  the integration of more 3dp parts seems very likely, and actually quite useful.

When they start 3d printing solid wood I'll be more supportive.

Sep 2, 13 11:45 am

why would you need solid wood? wood burns, gets wet, gets mold etc, only good par t of it  that it is should organic (after its chemically treated its not that organic, well not as good as old style wood, in terms of health concerns) All small buildings use wood but just just a manufacturing procedure.

With 3D printed part you are open to the whole new word of structures. Like if i have extra time i can show you few parts we did for aircraft, it is so much a game changer in terms of design structure and efficiency!

Sep 2, 13 12:36 pm

I happen to think wood is a beautiful material. Maybe I'm crazy.

Sep 2, 13 12:40 pm
wurdan freo

The House that Larry Printed

Sep 2, 13 7:11 pm

@wurdan freo
i cant say that im overly impressed with that video. They just use parts to produced things. CNC is major machine for them the way i see.  for MoMa it probably works but in reality at that level that is nothing better then regular model cutting. ex we cut parts for this student project  this is nothing more then card board and laser and 3D Cad Model (actual DXF 2D) and it comes to he building, scale it up use wood, carbon fiber or other plate material this can be full scale building. Also they talk about measuring, there are 3D scanners right now doing measuring on the why is not that easy but some time doing software and your  router printer can cacluate everything very easy like point click and build lol ..... ehhh we have too many toys to play :) Although i thin catapilar cost more then any of our  toys

PS: that model is term paper project of our client we could do better glue work and use other materials


@natematt: I love wood, here is one "from Russia with love" Fully natural :)

Sep 2, 13 7:58 pm

I think 3d printed buildings might not happen in our lifetime, or ever. There's a big materials science hurdle to clear, and then there's the issue of making reasonable assemblies that can be maintained over time.

I think we're more likely to see: A) robots assisting with on-site assembly and/or B) more of the construction process being done off-site in fabrication facilities

Jun 21, 18 9:53 am

Agreed; we use entirely too much mixed media. But I could envision specialized robots and machines doing some of it like shingle installation on a roof. Or like you said, prefabricating components.

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