Engineers are 3D printing a house in Amsterdam

Architects in Amsterdam have begun construction on what they’re calling the first full-sized 3D-printed house. Using what’s essentially a large-scale version of a desktop 3D printer, Dus Architects is building what will eventually be a 13-room Dutch canal house made of interlocking plastic parts. The project was announced earlier this year — part proof of concept, part art project. After about three weeks of work, The Guardian reports, one three-meter-high corner segment has been produced. 

Treacle-black plastic oozes from a nozzle at the bottom of a small tower in Amsterdam, depositing layer upon layer of glistening black worms in an orderly grid. With a knot of pipes and wires rising up to a big hopper, it looks like a high-tech liquorice production line. But this could be the future of house-building, if Dus Architects have their way. On this small canal-side plot in the north of the city, dotted with twisting plastic columns and strange zig-zag building blocks, the architects have begun making what they say will be the world’s first 3D-printed house. “The building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient industries out there,” says Hedwig Heinsman of Dus. “With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities.”

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