First 3D-printed house in the world in Westerlo
The technique of producing a tangible product layer by layer on the basis of a three-dimensional computer drawing, i.e. 3D printing, has been around for thirty years now. But now, for the first time, a two-storey family home has been built in Westerlo. A world first.
The range of materials with which you can print in 3D is almost endless. In principle, you can work with copper, bronze, brass, wood, resins, nylon, aluminium, titanium, nickel, gold, cobalt, recycled plastic, paper, sugar, chocolate, salt, sand, glass and ... concrete. The end products are equally versatile: from a simple plate or a doll to a key ring or a dress, and even organs can be considered.
In Westerlo, eight partners from the scientific and business worlds joined forces, with European support, to print a fully-fledged 90m² house in concrete, layer by layer, at Kamp C, the centre for sustainability and innovation in construction of the Province of Antwerp. Entirely on the construction site itself and without one builder being involved.
The benefits are numerous. You see the object grow before your own eyes. There is no material to take away, so there is no waste. A nice, sustainable solution. Mass storage of raw materials becomes superfluous, as does transport. Furthermore, a shorter construction time, greater freedom of design for architects and less need for hard-to-find workers.
There is clearly a future in 3D printing.