Have a look at the top 10 innovative 3D printed constructions that are popping up all over the world. You never know when your next client wants something, out of this world.
3D printing of buildings is the next pioneering step in the construction industry. “Designers have produced an assortment of eye-catching printed structures, already taking advantage of the technique’s flexibility to create exotic forms out of plastic, concrete, metal or even salt,” according to Jack Balderrama Morley, associate editor of Architizer.
So now, not only can you construct out of the usual suspects, but you can also expand into new and exciting materials. But, if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of your industry, you could find yourself giving a prospective client a blank face when they ask for a Softkill Design or ask you what extraordinary materials are available for the project. You don’t want to be in the position where you’re asking your potential customer about advances in your field.
Related: How to start a 3D printing business
“3D printing will dramatically reduce the cost of housing, and increase the speed of construction. 3D printing-driven innovation in construction will empower people by creating more disposable income for homeowners, and generally improve the quality of our lives,” says Hermes Moore.
Here are the top 10 innovative 3D printed constructions from across the world:
10. Bicycle Bridge
- Location: Netherlands
- Specifications: 3.5m wide, 8m long
- Year of construction: Started in 2017
The Technical University in Eindhoven is constructing this 3D printed bicycle bridge. They are using reinforced and pre-stressed concrete. The bridge will be printed in eight separate pieces, and joined together on site using a concrete mortar.
9. Landscape House
- Location: Amsterdam
- Specifications: 12000 Square-feet (1114.8 square-meters)
- Year of construction: Starting in 2017
This Mobius house has no beginning and no end, acting as one long corridor. It will be printed with one 20-foot robotic arm attached to a mobile base. The architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars is using 3D printing to create his design because it was the simplest and most cost-effective route.
Related: How 3D printing could jeopardise your transport business
8. Villa in China
- Location: China
- Specifications: 400 square meters
- Year of construction: 2016
This 3D printed two-story villa was printed on-site, creating the whole villa took 45 days. The walls are made with 20 tons of C30-grade concrete, measuring 250mm in thickness. Using seismic testing, they determined that this villa could withstand a level eight earthquake.
7. Philippines Hotel
- Location: North of Manila, Philippines
- Specifications: 130 square meters
- Year of construction: 2015
The extension to the Lewis Grand Hotel took over 100 hours to 3D printed. The materials used in this construction were sand and volcanic ash, which gives the extension stronger walls and improved the bonding between the various layers. Lewis Yakich, owner of the hotel, claims that using 3D printing saved him 60% on building costs.
6. Printing stock from pollution
- Location: Los Angeles, USA
- Specifications: 5m long beam
- Year of construction: 2016
This new building material is printed from Carbon Dioxide. “We hope to not only capture more gas,” says J.R. DeShazo, professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and director of the UCLA Luskin Centre for Innovation. “But we’re going to take that gas and, instead of storing it, which is the current approach, we’re going to try to use it to create a new kind of building material that will replace cement.”
Related: How will 3D printing impact manufacturing?
5. MX3D Bridge
- Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Specifications: N/A
- Year of construction: Started in 2015
In 2015, MX3D planned to 3D print a steel bridge using multi-axis robot arms. To full print the bridge, the robot arms use the actual structure they just created as support. This eliminates material waste and allows the robots the opportunity to operate in spaces which would usually restrict movement.
4. Project Egg
- Location: Global Collaboration, based in the Netherlands
- Specifications: 8m wide, 4m long
- Year of construction: Started in 2014
This was constructed out of 4 760 unique individual stones. A large portion of the components for this construction were created using the fused deposition modelling 3D printing technique.
3. Softkill Design’s Protohouse
- Location: London, England
- Specifications: 16 feet by 13 feet by 10 feet
- Year of construction: 2014
This design will be 3D printed in sections in a factory and fitted together on site. The design was generated using an algorithm that imitates bone growth. Material will then be deposited along stress lines, resulting in fibrous web rather than a solid envelope.
Related: How 3D printing is revolutionising construction
2. Digital Grotesque
- Location: Switzerland
- Specifications: 3.2 meter high, 16 square-meter
- Year of construction: 2013
This whole room was 3D printed using sandstone. This project contains over 80 million surfaces, some of which are glazed and gilded. The use of an algorithmically driven design process makes this full-scale ornate room so special.
1. Lunar Habitation
- Location: NASA and ESA
- Specifications: TBA
- Year of construction: TBA
NASA are holding an architectural competition to design a Martian colony. The winner of the first round of the competition proposed printing a down out of Martian ice. The European Space Agency is focused on printing a lunar colony with plans for it to be printed out of regolith or moon rock.
- Invest in 3D printing technology to reduce costs and meet customer expectation.
- Start experimenting using innovative designs and using untraditional materials.