Dutch couple move into Europe’s first 3D-printed home which can be built in just FIVE days


A Dutch couple have moved into Europe’s first 3D-printed home – which developers claim can be built from scratch in just five days.

Retired Elize Lutz, 70, and 67-year-old Harrie Dekkers’ new home in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, is a 94-square metre two-bedroom bungalow that resembles a boulder with windows.

Despite the curving lines of its grey concrete walls looking and feeling natural, they are actually the result of cutting-edge housing construction technology in the Netherlands and around the world – they were 3D printed at a nearby factory.

‘It’s special. It’s a form that’s unusual, and when I saw it for the first time, it reminds me of something you knew when you were young,’ Ms Lutz said. She will rent the house with Mr Dekkers for six months for £695 per month.

A Dutch couple have moved into Europe’s first 3D-printed home (pictured) – which developers claim can be built from scratch in just five days

Retired Elize Lutz, 70, and 67-year-old Harrie Dekkers' new home (pictured) in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, is a 94-square metre two-bedroom bungalow that resembles a boulder with windows

Retired Elize Lutz, 70, and 67-year-old Harrie Dekkers’ new home (pictured) in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, is a 94-square metre two-bedroom bungalow that resembles a boulder with windows

Despite the curving lines of its grey concrete walls (pictured) looking and feeling natural, they are actually the result of cutting-edge housing construction technology in the Netherlands and around the world ¿ they were 3D printed at a nearby factory

Despite the curving lines of its grey concrete walls (pictured) looking and feeling natural, they are actually the result of cutting-edge housing construction technology in the Netherlands and around the world – they were 3D printed at a nearby factory

View of the bedroom showing the 'printed' layers in the walls of the 3D-printed 94-square metres, two-bedroom bungalow

View of the bedroom showing the ‘printed’ layers in the walls of the 3D-printed 94-square metres, two-bedroom bungalow

'It's special. It's a form that's unusual, and when I saw it for the first time, it reminds me of something you knew when you were young,' Ms Lutz said. She will rent the house with Mr Dekkers (pictured together) for six months for £695 per month

‘It’s special. It’s a form that’s unusual, and when I saw it for the first time, it reminds me of something you knew when you were young,’ Ms Lutz said. She will rent the house with Mr Dekkers (pictured together) for six months for £695 per month

For now, the house looks strange with its layers of printed concrete clearly visible — and even a few places where printing problems caused imperfections.

But in the future, as the Netherlands seeks ways to tackle a chronic housing shortage, such constructions could become commonplace. The country needs to build hundreds of thousands of new homes this decade to accommodate a growing population.

Theo Salet, a professor at Eindhoven’s Technical University, is working in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, to find ways of making concrete construction more sustainable. 

He believes houses can be 3D printed in the future using 30 per cent less material. ‘Why? The answer is sustainability,’ he said. 

‘And the first way to do that is by cutting down the amount of concrete that we use,’ he added, explaining that 3D printing can deposit the material only where you need it – saving any waste.

For now, the house looks strange with its layers of printed concrete clearly visible ¿ and even a few places where printing problems caused imperfections (pictured)

For now, the house looks strange with its layers of printed concrete clearly visible — and even a few places where printing problems caused imperfections (pictured)

But in the future, as the Netherlands seeks ways to tackle a chronic housing shortage, such constructions could become commonplace. Pictured, a view of the front door

But in the future, as the Netherlands seeks ways to tackle a chronic housing shortage, such constructions could become commonplace. Pictured, a view of the front door

The country needs to build hundreds of thousands of new homes this decade to accommodate a growing population. Pictured, a view of the bedroom

The country needs to build hundreds of thousands of new homes this decade to accommodate a growing population. Pictured, a view of the bedroom

Theo Salet, a professor at Eindhoven's Technical University, is working in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, to find ways of making concrete construction more sustainable. He believes houses can be 3D printed in the future using 30 per cent less material. Pictured, Tenants Elize Lutz, left, and Harrie Dekkers

Theo Salet, a professor at Eindhoven’s Technical University, is working in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, to find ways of making concrete construction more sustainable. He believes houses can be 3D printed in the future using 30 per cent less material. Pictured, Tenants Elize Lutz, left, and Harrie Dekkers

The home is made up of 24 concrete elements ‘printed’ by a machine that squirts layer upon layer of concrete, before the finishing touches – such as a roof – were added. The layers give a ribbed texture to its walls, inside and out. 

The house – which is the product of collaboration between city hall, Eindhoven’s Technical University and construction companies, called Project Milestone – complies with all Dutch construction codes and the printing process took just 120 hours.

They are planning to build five houses, honing their techniques with each one. Future homes will have more than one floor.

Mr Salet explained how the process uses concrete the consistency of toothpaste to ensure it is strong enough to build with but also wet enough so the layers stick to another. The printed elements are hollow and filled with insulation material. 

The home is made up of 24 concrete elements 'printed' by a machine that squirts layer upon layer of concrete, before the finishing touches - such as a roof - were added. The layers give a ribbed texture to its walls, inside and out (pictured)

The home is made up of 24 concrete elements ‘printed’ by a machine that squirts layer upon layer of concrete, before the finishing touches – such as a roof – were added. The layers give a ribbed texture to its walls, inside and out (pictured)

The house (pictured left) - which is the product of collaboration between city hall, Eindhoven's Technical University and construction companies, called Project Milestone - complies with all Dutch construction codes and the printing process took just 120 hours

The house (pictured left) – which is the product of collaboration between city hall, Eindhoven’s Technical University and construction companies, called Project Milestone – complies with all Dutch construction codes and the printing process took just 120 hours

The hope is that such homes, which are quicker to build than traditional houses and use less concrete, could become a factor in solving housing shortages in a nation with a population of 17. million people and rising. 

In a report this month, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said education and innovation can spur the construction industry in the long term, but other measures are needed to tackle Dutch housing shortages, including reforming zoning.

Mr Salet believes 3D printing can help by digitising the design and production of houses. ‘If you ask me, “will we build one million of the houses, as you see here?”, the answer is no,’ he admitted. 

‘But will we use this technology as part of other houses combined with wooden structures? Combined with other materials? Then my answer is yes.’

They are planning to build five houses, honing their techniques with each one. Future homes will have more than one floor. Pictured, a view of the first house made of 3D-printed concrete

They are planning to build five houses, honing their techniques with each one. Future homes will have more than one floor. Pictured, a view of the first house made of 3D-printed concrete

The hope is that such homes, which are quicker to build than traditional houses and use less concrete, could become a factor in solving housing shortages in a nation with a population of 17. million people and rising. Pictured, one of the bedrooms

The hope is that such homes, which are quicker to build than traditional houses and use less concrete, could become a factor in solving housing shortages in a nation with a population of 17. million people and rising. Pictured, one of the bedrooms

Mr Dekkers has already noticed great acoustics in the home (pictured) even when he is just playing music on his phone. And when he is not listening to music, he enjoys the silence that the insulated walls provide

Mr Dekkers has already noticed great acoustics in the home (pictured) even when he is just playing music on his phone. And when he is not listening to music, he enjoys the silence that the insulated walls provide

Mr Dekkers has already noticed great acoustics in the home even when he is just playing music on his phone. And when he is not listening to music, he enjoys the silence that the insulated walls provide.

‘It gives a very good feel, because if you’re inside you don’t hear anything from outside,’ said the former shopkeeper from Amsterdam. 

Bas Huysmans, chief executive of construction firm Weber Benelux said: ‘All the elements, if we would have printed them in one go, it would have taken us less than five days because the big benefit is that the printer does not need to eat, does not need to sleep, it doesn’t need to rest.

‘So if we would start tomorrow, and learned how to do it, we can print the next house five days from now,’ reported the Evening Standard.

3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY MAKES OBJECTS BY DEPOSITING MATERIALS ONE LAYER AT A TIME

First invented in the 1980s by Chuck Hull, an engineer and physicist, 3D printing technology – also called additive manufacturing – is the process of making an object by depositing material, one layer at a time.

Similarly to how an inkjet printer adds individual dots of ink to form an image, a 3D printer adds material where it is needed, based on a digital file.

Many conventional manufacturing processes involved cutting away excess materials to make a part, and this can lead to wastage of up to 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) for every one pound of useful material, according to the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

By contrast, with some 3D printing processes about 98 per cent of the raw material is used in the finished part, and the method can be used to make small components using plastics and metal powders, with some experimenting with chocolate and other food, as well as biomaterials similar to human cells.

3D printers have been used to manufacture everything from prosthetic limbs to robots, and the process follows these basic steps:

· Creating a 3D blueprint using computer-aided design (CAD) software

· Preparing the printer, including refilling the raw materials such as plastics, metal powders and binding solutions.

· Initiating the printing process via the machine, which builds the object.

· 3D printing processes can vary, but material extrusion is the most common, and it works like a glue gun: the printing material is heated until it liquefies and is extruded through the print nozzle

· Using information from the digital file, the design is split into two-dimensional cross-sections so the printers knows where to put the material

· The nozzle deposits the polymer in thin layers, often 0.1 millimetre (0.004 inches) thick.

· The polymer rapidly solidifies, bonding to the layer below before the build platform lowers and the print head adds another layer (depending on the object, the entire process can take anywhere from minutes to days.)

· After the printing is finished, every object requires some post-processing, ranging from unsticking the object from the build platform to removing support, to removing excess powders. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk