A six meter tall printer in Amsterdam is up to print – room by room – a classical canal house. Since the beginning of March, the “construction site” is open to the public.
The “KamerMaker”, English for “Room-Maker”, is the center piece of the new project of Hedwig Heinsman and Hans Vermeulen. The two heads from “DUS architects” have build a six meter tall 3D-printer, which in turn will print the worlds first real size house. In this 3D-print procedure, a viscous material is put – layer by layer – on top of each other. The “printer“ follows a digital construction plan. Through this process, rooms emerge without any sawing or screwing.
Time for experiments
“We print the rooms piecewise and connect them afterwards – like Lego“, explains Hedwig, Heinsman in an interview with SCC. The printer does good work. Nonetheless they are already looking for a bigger one, which could build rooms in one go. That would accelerate the construction procedure by far. Still, Heinsman won‘t say when the house will be finished: “It is not our goal to just be the first ones and build this house as fast as we can,” she says. “It is about gaining knowledge and improve 3D-printing technology for construction. But in the end, of course, we want to present something.”
The printing material is to a large extend made up of “bioplastic”. The term is a little misleading – of
course the house is not decomposable – but the material consists of mostly renewable resources. The first piece of the 3D house, which now awaits its completion in the “KamerMaker”, is a part of a staircase. The printing ink is black. “But this won‘t stay this way”, says Heinsman. „We got a project schedule granted for three years. During this time, we want to experiment with different colors, materials and procedures. We try to exchange as less pieces as possible, so that one can see the whole process in the end.“
The future is being printed
In order to achieve this, „DUS architects“ won important partners for their project. Concerning materials, the architects are supported by company „Henkel“, which is a world leader in adhesive technologies. The Know-How for construction technologies comes from „Heijmans“, one of the biggest construction companies in the Netherlands. Furthermore, support is given by the city of Amsterdam and its smartcities-partners. But the 3D house also is supposed to make an income. Beginning in March, the construction site was opened to the public. Due to an entrance fee, a part of the expenses could be paid for.
As Heinsmann says, the canal house is not build to „revolutionize the way of constructing,“ but she and her colleague Hans Vermeulen think that the future of 3D-printing has come. „Just imagine an architect uploading his design to a platform. Then, somebody who needs a new bathroom could take this design and print it in a way it suits him best.“ It would also be imaginable that objects which don’t please their owners anymore could be melted down and reprinted in a new way. With the 3D-Canal house, the two architects want to contribute to this possible future.
Fotos: DUS-architects, Michel Mehle