Beijing-based firm, Huashang Tengda has unveiled the first entirely 3D printed house.
Taking just 45 days to complete, the two-storey, 4,305 square foot 3D printed house was printed in one go in the Tongzhou district of Beijing. Huashang Tengda have proudly stated that the project needed very little manual input, and was largely overseen by technology specialists.
3D printed homes have been built in short time periods already. Notably, these include Shanghai-based Winsun’s alleged ten in one day, and Zhouda Group, based in Xi’an, reportedly building a house in just three hours, this new Beijing house is believed to be the first to be produced in one go, rather than being pieced together from separate parts.
The Process & Materials
The villa was printed entirely on site, using a different 3D printing method to that we’ve seen to date. First, the frame of the house – complete with rebar support and plumbing pipes – was erected. Then, the house was printed directly over it using Huashang Tengda’s enormous 3D printer, a brand new machine that has only recently come out of testing, after several years in development. The printer features a kind of forked extruder, which simultaneously lays concrete on both sides of structural material, encasing it securely within its walls.
The house’s walls are up to eight feet thick, and both the walls and foundations have been created with 20 tonnes of C30 grade concrete, which is an extremely durable yet inexpensive building material.
Seismic testing found the building to be able to withstand an earthquake of 8 on the Richter scale – a strength with the capacity to level whole cities to the ground. On this basis alone, the technology has potential to save millions of lives, particularly in China, a country renowned for its vulnerability to earthquakes.
Huashang Tengda claims that their 3D printer is versatile enough to print buildings of any shape or size, including structures with unconventional shapes (which will be exciting news for creative architects), as well as high-rise apartment buildings. To quote Huashang Tengda directly:
“(This technology) will have immeasurable social benefits. Particularly the use of the new rural construction can now improve farmers’ living conditions. Because of its speed, low cost, simple and environmentally friendly raw materials, (it can) generally improve the quality of people’s lives. If to be used in developing countries, international competitive bidding in a great competitive advantage, the use of mechanical devices to reduce administrative costs and operating costs.”
Aside from the impressive feat itself, the building also marks some great developments to more ecologically-friendly construction. There is no material waste, significantly less industrial waste, less labour intensive, and the actual cost of construction is markedly less than current construction methods.
It seems, particularly in the Far East, that the construction of 3D printed houses is growing fast. Construction companies appear to be falling over themselves to make the next big development in the area. All this fast-paced development can only mean that the 3D printed house as standard is likely to be not too far off.
If you want to know more about this exciting area of 3D printed house construction, I recently took an in-depth look into the current state of 3D printed property in this post.