3D printed house to emerge

A Dutch architecture firm plans on using a D-Shape 3D printer to output a house in the shape of a Mobius strip, a project they estimate will take 18 months:

Dutch architecture studio Universe Architecture is planning to construct a house with a 3D printer for the first time.

The Landscape House will be printed in sections using the giant D-Shape printer, which can produce sections of up to 6 x 9 metres using a mixture of sand and a binding agent.

Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture will collaborate with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who developed the D-Shape printer, to build the house, which has a looping form based on a Möbius strip.

Dutch architects to use 3D printer to print a house (via Beyond the Beyond)


  1. Möbius houses are more trouble than they’re worth. You need to put roofing shingles on all interior surfaces, and if you want to subdivide… well, let’s just say it gets complicated.

  2. A house that is essentially one long hallway/stairs and no kitchen or bathrooms. Could be a tough sell

      1. I’m more worried it won’t be structurally sound, than anything. It could call come down like a house of leaves if not done properly.

  3. I’m sure the house will be very pretty to look at, but doubt it’ll be much fun to live in. A 3d printed bathroom or kitchen, now that would make sense to me! 

  4. I wouldn’t really characterise that as a “house”.

    On the other hand, there’s plenty going on in the “printed house” arena already! Though I wouldn’t call it 3D printing, Facit Homes appeared on an episode of Grand Designs recently, showing off their process for actually making livable structures with CAD/CAM. 

    They divide up the design for the house into a series of (not necessarily cuboid) boxes, which are then printed out in plywood using a CNC router delivered to site in a shipping container. The boxes are hammered together with mallets, and then hammered into the foundation with bigger mallets, then filled with insulation. There’s even a promo video on Vimeo, though I’ve not watched it so I can’t vouch for its interestingness; the Grand Designs episode was good though, if you can find it.

    Considering that this 3D printed house is completely pie-in-the-sky, and the Facit houses can be bought and built today, I find that process much more interesting right now.

  5. I suspect printed houses will face the same challenges as with caravans/RVs/mobile homes – stopping water and damp seep in between the joints (where printed units are combined).

    You can expect to get 10+ years from a caravan, but once the damp gets in between the walls, there’s not really a way of stopping or remedying it. They make all in one slot-in bathrooms in Japan, so the idea of a printed bathroom makes sense.

    1. Agreed. Cold joints are not that strong either. There’s a reason engineers specify monolithic pours for slabs and columns..

  6. An utterly impractical house brought into the world by the most impractical means available. How very appropriate.

    Honestly, every time some geek complains that “3D printing is not getting enough attention” I want to grab them by the collar and shout that they’ve got it all backwards. 3D printing has become the “go to” gimmick for anybody who wants to inject a few trendy buzzwords into their vanity project. 

    Meanwhile, less gimmicky but more practical achievements – like the one Fang Xianfu is mentioning above – are getting less attention than they deserve because technophiles can’t project their juvenile fantasies of Star Trek replicators onto them quite as easily.

      1. On the contrary, I’m very interested. But I’m getting weary of the cognitive dissonance that comes from over-hyping the concept. 
        9 times out of 10, any “3D-printed” object still requires so much post-print cleanup that it’d be simpler, more resourceful and more efficient to just produce it manually already.  This house? No excepton there: 
        The D-Shape printer will create hollow volumes that will be filled with fibre-reinforced concrete to give it strength. The volumes will then be joined together to create the house.

        My bottom line: if we keep deluding ourselves into beliving that the replicator already exists, then nobody is gonna get the motivation to actually create one.

    1. An utterly impractical house

      …by the standards of one part of the world for the last few centuries. Many people would find it much nicer and more useful than the little collection of rectangular boxes that we now call a house.

  7. Meanwhile, in China, an apartment complex with generous studios, even by Western standards, was pre-fabbed, shipped via train, and constructed in the space of three weeks.

    Here’s a joke for you: what’s the difference between a kid scribbling with crayons and an architect?
    A CAD degree!

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