Jul 10, 2018 | By Thomas

A family in France has become the first in the world to move into a 3D printed house. The overall goal of the 3D printed house project is to demonstrate that 3D printing technologies can be used to not only construct liveable housing structures but affordable housing.

The 3D printed housing project is called Yhnova, and is the product of a collaboration between the University of Nantes, the city coucil, Bouygues Construction, Lafarge Holcim, the Nantes Métropole Habitat organization, and TICA architectes & urbanistes. Together, the parties designed, developed, and 3D printed a 95m (1022ft) square house.

Since breaking ground on the project this past September, the 3D printed Ynhova house has been inaugurated (in a ceremony held on March 21) and is preparing to welcome its first residents this month.

The four-bedroom house was constructed using a patented 3D printing method called BatiPrint3D, which was developed by researchers from the University of Nantes. The additive manufacturing process uses a laser-guided, four-meter-long robotic arm to deposit layers of different construction materials in a pre-determined shape.

The printer works by printing in layers from the floor upwards. Unlike other 3D printing construction processes which exclusively deposit concrete mixtures to build walls, the BatiPrint3D robotic printer extrudes three types of layers: one formwork layer made of a foam-like material, an insulating layer, and a structuring layer made from a special 3D printable concrete mixture. This creates a thick, insulated, fully-durable wall.

The house features four bedrooms with a big central space, able to accommodate a family of five. “Once you’ve printed it you’ve used very little material and produced zero waste,” University of Nantes Professor Benoit Furet told BBC.

The property took 54 hours to be 3D printed - with four more months for contractors to add in things such as windows, doors and the roof - and cost around £1,76,000, which is said to be around 20% cheaper than using conventional construction techniques. The 3D printing team believes that they just might be able to 3D print the same house in only 33 hours.

The house is now being inhabited by Nordine Ramdani, Nouria Ramdani, and their three children. Nordine comments on the project saying, "It's a big honor to be a part of this project. We lived in a block of council flats from the 60s, so it's a big change for us. It's really something amazing to be able to live in a place where there is a garden, and to have a detached house.”

The purpose of the project was to see if this type of construction can become mainstream for housing, and if similar techniques can be applied to other communal building such as sports halls, as per the council’s lead innovator Francky Tricket.

“For 2,000 years there hasn’t been a change in the paradigm of the construction process. We wanted to sweep this whole construction process away. That’s why I’m saying that we’re at the start of a story. We’ve just written, ‘Once upon a time’.” And their work will ‘force’ private companies to ‘take the pen’ and continue the narrative, he says.

As a somewhat experimental home, Yhnova will be equipped with a range of sensors and monitoring systems to keep track of the home’s air quality, humidity, temperature, as well as how the 3D printed materials are maintained. These “smart home” sensors will reportedly enable the house’s residents to cut back on energy spending. The house was also designed for disabled people, with wheelchair access and the ability for everything to be controlled from a smartphone.

Mr Furet says he is currently working on a project in the north of Paris to print 18 houses, and he is also working on a large commercial building which will measure 700 metres square.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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