Architect plans 3D printed building

Posted by Kate Taylor

A Dutch architect has announced plans for one of the biggest 3D print jobs ever: a full-sized building shaped like a Moebius strip.

The two-storey Landscape House would be the world's first printed building, and could be constructed as soon as next year.

"One surface folded in an endless möbius band," says architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars. "Floors transform into ceilings, inside into outside."

The house, though, wouldn't be printed out in a single section. Instead,  the 3D printer would produce a set of 20-by-thirty-foot blocks that would be used to construct the building in  the normal way.

The printer Ruijssenaars plans to use is the D-Shape, invented by Enrico Dini specifically for the building industry. The 'ink' consists of sand mixed with a special binding agent which is claimed to produce a smooth, hard finish.

"The binder transforms any kind of sand into a marble-like material (i.e. a mineral with microcrystalline characteristics) and with a resistance and traction much superior to Portland Cement, so much so that there is no need to use iron to reinforce the structure," says D-Shape.

"This artificial marble is indistinguishable from real marble and chemically it is one hundred percent environmentally friendly."

The team claims that using 3D printing techniques is as much as four times quicker than traditional building techniques - and 30 to 50 percent cheaper. The BBC says that Landscape House is likely to cost between $5 and $6 million.