In just 15 days, engineer Marijke Aerts and her team have built a ten-meter-high, 90-square-meter house with the giant 3D printer ARCS. It is the largest 3D printer in Europe and has been able to build a one-piece house using concrete.
In previous experiences, the pieces of the house were printed separately and assembled as if they were LEGO pieces. This is the first time that a single-piece double-height house has been built with a fixed 3D printer since until now only one-story houses have been built.
The construction is three times stronger than a house built with traditional techniques, but it has yet to be verified if it will hold up over the years. For this reason, it is not planned that the house will be inhabited, the objective of its construction has been only to show companies this new technology.
The 3D printer is made up of four ten-meter high columns on which the print head that deposits the concrete moves. With this construction technique the material, time, and money used are reduced by 60%. It took less than two days to build the foundations, internal conduits, and interior and exterior walls. This construction system is not only much more profitable than the traditional one but it is also more ecological. Currently, it takes months to build a house, while with this method it will be possible that they are ready in a matter of days.
Installing the printer on-site only takes one day. No bricklayer is needed, just an operator who turns it on and off supervises the work through a computer, and finally cleans the installation once it is finished.
The house is already finished in Waterloo (Belgium) and has been financed with € 668,320 by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union. «The biggest benefit is that you have no limits in the forms. Plus, it’s faster. It takes you a little longer to do the design, but then the machine does the work itself, ”explains the engineer and project manager, Marijke Aerts.