3D Printing Technology in the Netherlands
The city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands is soon to be home to a community of five homes built sustainably and efficiently using 3D printing. The community, known as Project Milestone, will begin with a small, 1,000-square foot home with walls just under 2 inches thick. Later houses will be larger and more complex, featuring multiple stories, patios, and even balconies. These will be the first concrete 3D printed houses in the world that people can actually live in.
One of the main advantages of using 3D printing technology to build a home is that unique shapes can be made on a smaller scale. With past technologies, building unique shapes would only be cost-efficient on a larger scale. Another great advantage is the fact that concrete will only get laid down where it is needed. Past technologies wasted much of the building resource and are, therefore, much less sustainable. Cement production, for example, is one of the largest CO2 sources in the world. This type of construction will lower CO2 emission.
Designers chose to name this project Milestone for two reasons. First, they consider it a special moment in time. 3D-printing is one of the most disruptive technologies of the century, having been used in numerous fields already. It has been used in medicine to print transplants during surgery; used to make pizza, and even to create art. Because of 3D printing’s higher sustainability and its decreased material costs, its use is destined to increase.
The second reason for the name Milestone is because of the actual appearance of the houses themselves. Keeping in mind the wishes of future residents, designers made sure the houses would be beautiful as well as cheap and functional. The houses will be designed to resemble large stones from the outside as if the small community of five houses had suddenly fallen into the field.
The first house will be constructed off-site and brought to its eventual location. It is expected to be finished in early 2019. By the final and fifth house, designers are hoping the entire construction will be done on-site.