Is there anything that these nifty little printers can’t do? The technology behind 3D Printers is advancing at a rapid rate. It seems that it was just a few years ago where they could do nothing more but print out basic little objects. However, if an architect in Holland is to be believed, 3D Printer Buildings could be just around the corner.
Janjaap Rijssenaars, an architect for Holland is looking to create 3D Buildings which are intended to be inspired by the landscape of Planet Earth. These won’t be tiny buildings either. If this project is followed through to completion (and there is no reason why it wouldn’t be!) we can expect buildings that measure a whopping 1000 square metres, which is of course much larger than anything that has ever been produced by these types of printers before.
The buildings created by Mr Ruijssenaars are intended to look exactly like a giant Mobius strip, which if you aren’t aware of what that is; it is a continuous loop which has just one side. These buildings are estimated to cost around 5 million euros. Of course, that means the average person won’t be living in one of these buildings any time soon! However, by all accounts a number of museums, visitor centres and some very rich individuals have already signed up for 3D Printed buildings, and if this technology takes off then perhaps the costs could come down in the future.
Collaborating with Mr Ruijssenaars on this project is printing expert Enrico Dini, who owns one of the only companies in the world to specialise in large scale 3D Printing. The cartridges used by his company’s 3D Printers are loaded with sand and a specially formulated bonding agent. This unique combination creates a material which is much stronger than cement.
Don’t get too excited yet however. Sadly we are not at the point where we can obtain fully printed buildings. Each of the buildings manufactured using this process still needs concrete reinforcements in order to keep it up right. Although with the rapid rate of advancements in the printing industry it is highly likely that this will change sooner rather than later.
Mr Ruijssenaars said that this is one of the only ways in which he can bring some of his creations to life. He believes that traditional processes such as making a mould from wood and filling it up to the brim with concrete are old hat. This takes far too much time. However, when you go for 3D printed buildings and advance the technology it is likely that buildings can be created in a much quicker time frame.
The aim is to have the first buildings in place by the middle of 2014. The ultimate aim is to have one of these buildings in every country of the world, although of course that point is a long way off yet. However one thing is for sure, it is likely that you are going to see one of these buildings near you at some point.