With the cost of 3-D printers dropping significantly and companies like MakerBot now selling personal use models, the high-tech devices, which allow people to print out 3-D objects layer by layer from computer models, are well on their way to becoming mainstream. The consumer versions are already being used at home for creating everything from toys to, in one controversial case, guns.
Now, a Dutch architect wants to take 3-D printing a step further, or many steps further, and print a house. Janjaap Ruijssenaars plans on using a “mega-scale free form printer” to build his “Landscape House,” which he describes as “one surface folded in an endless Mobius band.” According to the BBC, the house would cost between $5 million and $6 million.
Called the D-Shape, the robotic printer he plans on using operates by straining a binder on a sand layer similar to how an ink-jet printer does on a sheet of paper. Ruijssenaars says he will use it to print out 20 feet by 30 feet blocks, and according to CNN, those blocks, along with fiberglass and concrete reinforcements, will be used to create the building.
“3D printing is amazing,” Ruijssenaars told the BBC. “For me as an architect it’s been a nice way to construct this specific design — it has no beginning and no end, and with the 3-D printer we can make it look like that.”