How to Print a 3D House in Just One Day
3D printing has come a long way since it was 1st revealed, and even more so over the last few years! We’ve seen stuff such as watches, drones, food and even prosthetic limbs. Now though one company has taken a step further and have printed a house, on site, in under 24 hours!
How to print a 3D house?
Back in December 2016 Apis Cor started to print the house using mobile 3D printing technology. The printing took place in the town of Stupino, where the Apis Cor company’s test facility is located. Printing of the partitions, building envelope and self-bearing walls were finished in less than a day. Total print time for the building amounted to 24 hours and takes up 38 m². Once the walls has been complete the printer was removed from the building with a crane-manipulator.
This is the 1st time a building has been printed in full on site, as oppose to the previous method. This involved printing all the segments individually in a factory, then having to transport and assemble all the parts in the desired location. additionally this took a lot of time and resources.
With the house being printed in December Apis Cor had to overcome the problem of temperatures. The concrete mix used to print previous building segments could only be used in temperatures above 5° C. The equipment used can operate in temperatures down to minus 35° C. Apis Cor solved this problem by setting a tent up around the printer and construction site which provided the required temperature.
Who was involved in 3D Printing a House?
Apis Cor, was the developer of this unique equipment to enable 3D printing and invited five companies as partners. The company who are known for their innovative approaches are PIK Companies Group, Bitex Reibeputz Company, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, TechnoNICOL and Corporation Fabrika Okon Company.
What materials and technology are used in 3D Printing?
The materials used by Apis Cor are a 3D mobile construction 3D printer, automatic mix and supply unit. A unique feature of the printer is its design, which is reminiscent of the tower crane. This allows the 3D printer to carry out the printing process of constructing the building both inside and outside. The 3D printer is small in size, easily transportable and does not require long preparation before beginning the construction works, because it has a built-in automatic horizon alignment and stabilization system. The 3D printing process is automated as much as possible, this eliminates the risk of human error.
Insulation system in the 3D printed house was done using innovative materials of TechnoNICOL company. The 3D roof of the building is flat. The solution was made by the TechnoNICOL company, can effectively withstand heavy snow loads and durability requirements. Its cost is comparable to steep roofs, which are common in this country. The roofing carpet is made of LOGICROOF polymer membranes. Thia material has high performance with this type of technological installation. The membrane patches are welded together using special equipment that uses hot air. Installation works at speeds of up to 1000 m² in a work shift can be done in any weather condition.
Apis Cor construction 3D printing technology adapted for different methods of printed walls and thermal insulation. In addition for the project in Stupino, TechnoNICOL corporation chose two ways of insulation: solid insulating material LOGICPIR for one section of the house and liquid polyurethane composition for the other.
3D Homes of the future!
Since these 3D houses are cost effective and fast to build, how long will it be until we see them in everyday life?
Well unfortunately it will be a while until we see a house being printed using 3D technology in our cities, as it’s not as easy to set the equipment up in a city as it is to set up in the countryside. However, cities like Dubai are planning to build more 3D printed houses in the future. Many compenys have envisioned these 3D homes of the future to be environmentally-friendly, data-integrated ‘smart buildings,’ and typically clad with solar panels together including a floor designated for growing food.