3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

 

One could hardly have imagined that once upon a time, as dot matrix printers hammered out an ink-soaked cloth ribbon onto flimsy paper, that one day we would be faced with the evolution of 3D printers. But not just any 3D printers. 3D printers that can build houses for us. It seems almost beyond the realms of one’s imagination, let alone for it to have become, excuse the pun, a concrete reality.

Arup and CLS Architects introduced 3D Housing 05 – a new 3D printed house in central Milan – launched during Salone del Mobile in April. Printed on-site by a portable robot, the house showcases the role 3D printing can play in reducing construction waste; it increases efficiencies during the building process and allows materials to be reused at the end of the building’s life, rather than ending up as landfill.

The one storey concrete house, located in the grand Piazza Cesare Beccaria, covers 100 square meters; it has curved walls, a living area, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The project differs from many other 3D processes in its use of a robotic manipulator, mounted on a movable base for increased flexibility compared with fixed 3D printers. The house is made up of 35 modules that have each been printed in 60-90 minutes; the full house was printed in just 48 hours. The building will be moved from the square to a new location after Salone dust settles.

 

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

 

The construction industry is currently one of the world’s biggest users of resources; in the UK alone it accounts for 60% of all raw materials consumed. The concrete 3D printed house, the first of its kind within the EU, can be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere. To that end, the advantages offered by 3D printed buildings have been classified into a four-fold objective.

Sustainability: they offer a sustainable alternative to the traditional construction process, reducing material waste and allowing recycled concrete to be used.

Flexibility: they also offer greater flexibility in the building shape, allowing engineers and architects to generate more complex structures, such as double curved walls, at a lower cost. In addition, the process allows for on-site construction with few limitations regarding site location.

Affordability: 3D printing is less expensive than traditional construction due to the more efficient use of materials and to a more structured and faster building process.

Accuracy: 3D printing offers a direct transfer of information from the 3D design model into construction operations, therefore it drastically reduces building inconsistencies and potential mistakes.

 

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

3D Printed House by Massamiliano Locatelli's CLS Architetti Revealed in Milan | Yellowtrace

 

A robot from Cybe Construction was used to print the walls, while the roof, windows and doors were completed afterwards. Italcementi, one of the world’s largest cement suppliers, provided advice for the base concrete mix used during the printing operations.

“This building represents a milestone for 3D printing applied to construction. The industry is fast moving towards increased levels of automation. Robots are opening up a number of possibilities for realising the next generation of advanced buildings,” said Luca Stabile, Italian Building Practice Leader at Arup.

In a world rapidly starting to resemble science fiction, we may soon find automation resolves one of humanities desperate issues – housing. Housing for low income, housing for refugees, emergency housing, housing for those affected by natural disasters… The applications of this process are endless and incredibly exciting.

 

 


[Images courtesy of . Photography by .]

 



About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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