WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
As 3D printing improves it will continue to revolutionise the way we make everything from clothes to homes.
It was always going to happen, and now it finally has. First came 3D printed houses in Dubai, who want 25 percent of all new houses to be 3D printed by 2030, the Ukraine and the US, as well as the concept of 3D printing an 80 storey skyscraper, and then came the people to live in them. This week it was announced that five members of the Ramdani family in France have become the first family in the world to live in a 3D printed house and the news has created a lot of excitement throughout the world. And the house isn’t some poky shed either, it’s a four bedroom property which serves as “the perfect model for future projects” according to the developers behind it whose aim it is to make the entire concept of printable housing significantly faster and cheaper.
The family’s new home is a prototype and its highlights include digital controls for the convenience of disabled individuals and curved walls that, apparently, substantially alleviate the effects of humidity on the house.
The house took a little more than 2 days to print and then another four months to add roof, windows, and doors and the final construction bill was around £176,000, which is substantially more than the $32,000 it cost to 3D print the Ukraine home mentioned above, meaning that in this particular instance it cost 20 percent less to print the house than to build it using traditional techniques.
Take a mosey round the new digs
Following on from their project the 3D printing team behind the new home believes that they just might be able to achieve the feat of reprinting the same house in just a day and a half.
The house was made as a result of the collaboration between the University of Nantes, the city council, and a housing association. The council’s lead innovator, Francky Trichet commented that the primary goal of this 3D printing project was to ascertain if this kind of construction solution could become mainstream and be applied to different types of communal buildings. He now believes that this concept could potentially have a big impact the construction industry.
“For 2,000 years there hasn’t been a change in the paradigm of the construction process. We wanted to sweep this whole construction process away. That’s why I’m saying that we’re at the start of a story. We’ve just written, ‘Once upon a time’,” he said in a statement.
“It’s a big honour to be a part of this project. We lived in a block of council flats from the 60s, so it’s a big change for us. It’s really something amazing to be able to live in a place where there is a garden, and to have a detached house,” said Nordine Ramdani.
The house is initially designed by a team of expert scientists and architects, after which the 3D printer does its job by printing the layers and walls from the ground up, and then the builders fit in the windows, doors, and roofs and voila you have yourself a home.