Sure, 3D printing is fun and cute. And products like the Makerbot and Form 1 will most certainly disrupt manufacturing, even if it’s only on a small scale. But the possibilities of 3D printing stretch far beyond DIY at-home projects. In fact, it could entirely replace the construction industry.
We’ve already seen folks at MIT’s Research Labs working on ways to 3D print the frame of a home in a day, as opposed to the month it would take a construction crew to do the same. But it isn’t just geeks taking an interest; a Dutch architect is interested in 3D printing a home, with the hopes that it’ll be ready by 2014.
The architect’s name is Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture, and his project is a part of the Europan competition, which lets architects in over 15 different countries build projects over the course of two years.
Ruijssenaars will work with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, founder of the D-Shape 3D printer. The plan is to print out 6×9 chunks of frame, comprised of sand and inorganic binder. From there, they’ll fill the frame with fiber-reinforced concrete.
The final product will be a single flowing design, a two-story building.
Here’s the project in Ruijssenaars’ words:
One surface folded in an endless möbius band. Floors transform into ceilings, inside into outside. Production with innovative 3D printing techniques. Architecture of continuity with an endless array of applicability.
As I said, he doesn’t plan on realizing the dream until 2014. So just because he has plans to build the world’s first 3D-printed building, it would appear that others have time to nab the title first.