Apr 4, 2017 | By Tess

France is certainly ramping up its efforts to become known as a hub for 3D printed construction. Not only has the country claimed Europe’s first 3D printed load-bearing concrete structure, but it will soon be able to boast a 95m² 3D printed social housing building. The 3D printed house, which is due to begin construction in September 2017, will be located in La Bottière, a district east of Nantes.

The house project, called Yhnova, will be completed using an innovative construction additive manufacturing technique that was developed by the University of Nantes in partnership with LS2N, a digital sciences lab, and GeM, which specializes in material development.

The patented 3D printing process, called BatiPrint3D, utilizes a four-meter-long robotic arm which, guided by a laser system, extrudes three layers: a formwork layer, an insulating layer, and a structuring layer. The first two layers consist of a foam-like material, while the third is a special 3D printable concrete layer. Notably, the insulating layer eliminates the need for thermal bridging, thus making it easier and more efficient to heat the home.

When the building project is launched, the five-room house will be 3D printed in a wooded area, reportedly to increase the difficulty of the build. According to the project leaders, the house’s structure, which is characterized by mostly rounded walls, should be completed within just three days, and will be livable within just six days of its completion.

Benoit Furet, a professor at the University of Nantes, explains that the 3D printed house in La Bottière will be fully certified and livable, a feature which purportedly sets it apart from other 3D printed housing structures (he mentions Chinese and Russian projects, for instance). Readers will likely remember Russian company Apis Cor’s announcement that it had successfully 3D printed a 37-square-meter building in less than 24 hours.

Notably, the upcoming building will follow social housing guidelines, which was done in an effort to advance and accelerate the technology. In terms of cost, Furet estimates the project will require a budget of about 130,000 euros, while the home itself will be listed at its market price.

The 3D printed Yhnova social housing project is part of the wider CityLab initiative in Nantes, which was launched in a bid to make Nantes a “city of tomorrow”. As part of the initiative, the French city put up 750,000 euros to attract innovative researchers, associations, startups, and more. The Yhnova project is one of three projects that was selected for funding. The other two are DataLab, which links public and private energy data for energy consumption, and a project by Caméon and Bpifrance which plans to use analog FM radio networks to control public lighting.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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