More than a roof over your head

11 Fascinating 3D Printed Houses (From Around the World)

3D printed house

A 3D printed house, does it really exist? Here are 11 fascinating 3D printed houses from around the world, from tiny town cabins to an entire village.

“What’s wrong with brick and mortar, glass and concrete?”, you might ask. “Why to build a 3D printed house?” Apart from the obvious answer – because we can -, there are various good reasons for using 3D printing methods in constructing buildings:

5 Reasons to Build a 3D Printed House

  1. It can be a good way to recycle part the vast amounts of plastics floating in our seas or lying around uselessly on waste dumps. Likewise, other materials can be recycled und used in special 3D printers, e.g. construction waste.
  2. Huge specialized 3D printers such as the Wasp BigDelta can be used to build inexpensive 3D printed houses in developing countries.
  3. Because of the short construction periods, simple 3D printed houses or shelters can be thrown up quickly, e.g. after an earthquake, a tornado or other natural disasters.
  4. 3D printing allows us to build shapes you cannot accomplish using conventional methods (or at least not at acceptable cost).
  5. NASA and other space agencies already plan to set up 3D printed buildings in space (All3DP reported). For example, NASA has plans to use 3D printing for colonies on Mars. And ESA (European Space Agency) had architect Norman Foster design a moon research base that will be 3D printed from lunar soil. But 3D printing houses in space is another story…

As you will see, a wide range of materials can be used for a 3D printed house. From plastics over clay (often mixed with straw or other organic matter) or sand to concrete and even recycled waste from disassembled houses.

3D Printed House #1: Urban Cabin in Amsterdam

3d printed house: Urban cabin in Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Specifications: 8 square meter floors space, 25 cubic meters volume

Year of construction: 2016

Who built this 3D printed house? This tiny 3D printed house was designed and created by Dutch studio DUS Architects.

What is it? What makes the Urban Cabin fascinating is, that it was almost completely 3D printed using bio-plastics so it can be fully recycled and reprinted. The 3D printed house is designed as a mini-retreat in the midst of a vibrant city, a place to find rest or to work in recluse. DUS built the cabin as part of its research into a compact and sustainable dwelling solutions in urban environments. It also serves as a showcase on whether or how 3D printing may offer solutions for temporary housing in disaster areas.

See also All3DP’s more detailed article on the Urban Cabin.

3D Printed House #2: “Infinite” Landscape House in Amsterdam

3d printed house: Landscape House in Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Specifications: 1,110 square meters

Year of construction: 2017

Who built this 3D printed house: This futuristic 3D printed building was designed by the Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars from Rotterdam-based Universe Architecture company. The construction has not started yet. Ruijssenaars is just setting up a 4 meter model for potential investors.

What is it? The shape of this ambitious building was inspired by German mathematicians August Moebius and Johann Listing: It looks like a Moebius strip, an infinite loop. This creates the illusion that you can walk through the building endlessly.

Ruijssenaars plans to use a special giant 3D printer, the D-Shape developed by Italian inventor Enrico Dini, to build the house. The D-Shape will produce 6×9-meter sized blocks that workers will put together on the spot. The blocks will be made of composite sand and inorganic binder.

3D Printed House #3: Canal House in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal House by DUS architects

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Specifications: 16 meters high, 6 meters wide

Year of construction: 2017

Builder/Architect: The Canal House project is lead by DUS Architects.

What is it? The 3D printed house is part of the “Research and Design by Doing” project. Here, an international team works together 3D printing a full-size canal house in Amsterdam. This house will have 13 rooms that each consists of various 3D printed elements. Each room presents a research update in shape, structure, and material.

The whole building will be produced with the KamerMaker 3D printer, which prints the house room by room – KamerMaker is Dutch and means “room maker.” KamerMaker is so-to-speak a super-sized version of the Ultimaker desktop 3D printer: it is 6 meters tall and was developed by DUS and Ultimaker. The 3D printer uses bioplastics made of 80% of vegetable oil; that means, the material is of biological origin, sustainable, melts at a relatively low temperature (170 degrees Celsius) and is sturdy and stable enough.

3D Printed House #4: Office Building in Dubai

3D printed office in Dubai

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Specifications: 240 square meters

Year of construction: 2016

Builder/Architect: The office building was designed by architecture firm Gensler, structural and MEP work was done by Thornton Tomasetti and Syska Hennessy.

What is it? The world’s first 3D printed office building was inaugurated in Mai 2016 (All3DP reported). Gensler designed it for the United Arab Emirates National Committee as the headquarters for the Dubai Futures Foundation. The “Office of the Future” as it is also labeled will not necessarily be used for traditional office work but will primarily serve as a meeting space to launch communications between parties from all over the globe. Nevertheless, it is a fully functional building featuring electricity, water, and telecommunications and air-conditioning systems.

The 3D printed house was built up using a huge printer (6 meters high, 45 meters long) from Winsun in its factory in Shanghai, China; the parts were then shipped to Dubai. Using that 3D printing technology reduced labor costs by 50 to 80% and construction waste by 30 to 60%, Winsun stated.

3D Printed House #5: Villa in China

3d printed house: villa in china

Location: China

Specifications: 400 square meters

Year of construction: 2016

Builder/Architect: It was constructed by Chinese company Huashang Tengda.

What is it? The 3D printed house isn’t just an ordinary house but a full-blown two-story villa. It was created entirely on-site (Huashang Tengda’s competitor Winsun typically prints building parts in its works in China and has to transport them to the building site). 3D printing the villa took only 45 days. Also unlike other 3D printing companies, Huashang Tengda first erected the frame of the villa and then printed concrete over it using its custom-built 3D printing system. The walls are 25 centimeters thick and are estimated to withstand earthquakes up to level 8 on the Richter scale.

See also All3DP’s more detailed article on the 400 square meter villa.

3D Printed House #6: Apartment Building in China

3d printed house: 6-story apartment

Location: Province Jiangsu, China

Specifications: 1,100 square meters

Year of construction: 2014

Builder/Architect: The six-story apartment building was made by Chinese manufacturer Winsun.

What is it? Winsun built the walls and other structural components off-site using its own 3D printing machine. The parts were then transported to the construction site and assembled. For printing the walls, a special, patented „ink“ was used that consisted of construction waste (concrete, sand, fiberglass) and a hardening agent. This is not only a clever way of recycling waste: The material provides both insulation and strength, which makes the 3D printed house resistant to earthquakes. According to Winsun, they managed to save 60% on material costs, 80% of labor costs and 70% of the time compared to conventional construction methods.

We have to mention that there were serious allegations in 2015 that Winsun didn’t play fair in IP matters and also was faking results of its 3D printed houses – so please: “handle with care.”

3D Printed House #7: Earthquake-proof Modular Homes

3d printed house: modular homes in China

Location: China

Specifiations: A 500 square meter villa.

Year of construction: 2015

Builder/Architect: The 3D printed houses were constructed by the Zhuoda Group.

What is it? These dwellings consist of ready-made modules, 90% of them were 3D printed in a Zhuoda factory and then shipped to the construction site. Assembling them took three days. According to the company, a 500 square meter villa could be completely built in 15 days. Zhuoda would not reveal which material mix was used to fabricate the 3D printed house modules. However, the structures are said to be strong enough to withstand earthquakes up to level 9 on the Richter scale. The houses are built to last: Zhuoda says they stand average wear and tear for 150 years in any environment on earth.

3D Printed House #8: Philippines Hotel

3d printed house: 3d printed hotel

Location: North of Manila, Philippines

Specifications: 130 square meters

Year of construction: 2015

Builder/Architect: It was created by Lewis Yakich, the owner of the hotel and material science engineer.

What is it? To be precise: We’re not talking about a complete hotel but an extension of the prestigious Lewis Grand Hotel in the Philippines. The extension villa covers two bedrooms, a living room, and a jacuzzi room. Yakich used a custom-built 3D printer, a “work in progress” as he calls it; he constructed the printer with the help of Andrey Rudenko (see the report on the 3D printed castle below).

Printing the 130 square meters extension took 100 hours (with some interruptions for installing plumbing, wiring and rebars). Yakich used local materials for printing – sand with volcanic ash. This results in strong walls and provides good bonding between the layers. He says he was able to save 60% on building costs.

Unfortunately, Lewis Yakich mysteriously vanished in 2015 after a business meeting and hasn’t been seen since.

3D Printed House #9: First 3D Printed Castle

3d printed house: first 3d printed castle

Location: Minnesota, USA

Specifications: 3 x 5 meters

Year of construction: 2014

Builder/Architect: This 3D printed miniature castle was created by Andrey Rudenko.

What is it? Andrey Rudenko had the desire to create a 3D printer capable of constructing durable, realistic and inhabitable houses. The Castle is now an achievement of his success creating such a printer. Rudenko’s 3D printer prints layers of concrete that measure only 10 millimeters in height by 30 millimeters in width. The detail and perfection of each layer are extraordinary compared to other 3D printed houses made from concrete we have seen.

3D Printed House #10: Rise Pavilion

3d printed house: Rise Pavilion

Location: Bejing, China

Specifications: 110 square meters, 3.4 meters high, 1.8 tons.

Year of construction: 2016

Builder/Architect: Bejing-based design studio Defacto headed the construction of this pavilion.

What is it? Well, not exactly a 3D printed house: According to the Guinness book, the Rise Pavilion is the largest 3D printed structure in the world (August 2016). It consists of 5,370 pieces, so-called poly-blocks. These were produced on 70 3D printers, which took 45 days. As the pavilion was made with sustainability in mind, biodegradable PolyPlus filament was used; to reduce waste, no supports were printed.

After the exhibition that ended on September 6th, the structure was disassembled, its 5,370 poly-blocks will be repurposed to make flower vases, table lamps, and other useful objects.

3D Printed House #11: Shamballa Village

3d printed houses: village of Shamballa

Location: Massa Lombarda, North Italy

Specifications: several hundreds of square meters

Year of construction: 2016

Builder/architect: The village is being created by 3D printer manufacturer Wasp.

What is it? The village of Shamballa will be the first village completely created by a 3D printer. Wasp set up one of its giant BigDelta 3D printers to build one house after the other on-site. The 12 meter high BigDelta has to be moved to the next site once a house is finished. The 3D printed houses are made from mud or clay and plant fibers for reinforcement. Wasp decided to use material that is locally available instead of concrete because of the low environmental footprint and because of the high insulating properties. Surprisingly, building the first 3D printed house cost only 48 Euro.

Of course, there are way more 3D printed houses out there. Maybe even more fascinating than the ones we presented. In case, you come across an interesting project: Shoot us a note or write a comment below.