The designof living spacesusing 3D printing

3D printing has become an integral part of architecture. First it was presentation models, then living spaces, and finally: who will build the first house using 3D printing and when?

The 3D printed house

And of course there is a lot of creativity in the design that was created by the architect, who works in Munich and teaches in the US and England, together with his talented students at 3M futureLAB by UCLA + HUD, the University of California, Los Angeles and the Huddersfield University. The house is a completely print-ready unit including toilet, kitchenette, and furniture – all from a 3D Printer. And even though this is not a house with the normal dimensions, but rather a living space reduced to the bare minimum with just a few square meters and a height of approximately three meters, it nevertheless begs the question: What kind of 3D printers can generate sand molds in these dimensions. The term 3D printer is a great understatement when we talk of voxeljet’s large-format machines.

The industrial 3D printer VX4000, which generated the two sand molds for the house, one piece at a time, using the layer building method, is one of the world's largest industrial facilities of this kind with a space requirement of 25 x 12 meters and a height of 4.5 meters.  The "printer" is actually a small stand-alone factory that produces components at dimensions of up to eight cubic meters using a fully automated process. Architectural projects such as this house would be impossible to create using 3D printing technology without such printing systems.

Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEOvoxeljet AG

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The 3d printing system VX4000 required a total of 60 hours to print the two house halves. Including everything, the printing costs for the spectacular project totaled approximately EUR 60,000. The small house weighs approximately two tonnes. And: It meets all of the requirements imposed by the architect. Peter Ebner is very enthusiastic about the technical execution and the stability of the printing.

3D printed living room

Designer François Brument´s rooms, walls, furniture items become one and can be freely defined by the designer and builder without any restrictions. He was very excited about the technical possibilities offered by 3D print technology Binder Jetting, and after extensive discussions with voxeljet’s experts, it was clear that the Augsburg-based company could provide the perfect solution for his project. The visionary was particularly impressed with the large-format VX4000 3d printer at the voxeljet service centre, which can print very large molds with a maximum volume of eight cubic metres. These systems are predestined for the building of complete living spaces.

Designer François Brument takes a close look at the possibilities of digital design. In this context, the designer also aims for integrated digital production processes when it comes to the creation of living spaces. He breaks with traditional approaches in which architecture, interior design and furnishings form separate self-enclosed areas.

Brument melds these areas into one unit. Rooms, walls, furniture items become one and can be freely defined by the designer and builder without any restrictions whatsoever. With this revolutionary approach, the star designer opens up a new chapter in the design of living spaces.

He underlines the hitherto unimaginable opportunities of this approach with his carte blanche project ‘Habitat imprimé’ (printed living space), which is the result of a collaborative effort with Sonia Laugier. The exhibit on display is a real model of a bedroom with integrated shower and walk-in closet, which visualises the possibilities of an integrated production of living quarters over 15 square metres. The room can be divided as required, shelves can be integrated into walls, surfaces can be structured in any manner desired – the restrictions that formerly set limits to the creativity of builders, architects and designers have been removed. The future design of living spaces knows no bounds.

Design from a 3D printer

Houses built with 3D printers are a hot topic of discussion around the world right now. Similarly, much is also happening in this area in the US. The American artist Ioan Florea purports to be the first person in the US to have created an entire house using 3D printing. In addition, the sculptor, who hails from Romania and who has already created an entire car using 3D printing, wants to print not just the house itself, but also furniture and appliances.

The concept of the printed house comes with several unique features. The house is based on individual models printed with a 3D printer, which Florea combines using a method that he has developed, so that they appear as if made from one single cast. Then the entire wall elements are covered with liquid metal. The result is a unique and spectacular design that creates the impression that the entire house is made of molten metal. To build this project, which consists of individual molds of different sizes, Florea needed individual models of a size that cannot be accommodated on standard printers. During his search for a provider of large-scale molds he got in touch with the voxeljet service center in Friedberg near Augsburg.

3D printed plastic wall

voxeljet is not just known for the on-demand manufacture of models, but also as a manufacturer of industrial 3D printers. The largest printer platform – the VX4000 – can print components of a volume of up to eight cubic meters.

I really enjoyed working with the voxeljet team. They had no problems printing the largest models for my project, and the staff was very enthusiastic about my ideas. voxeljet's commitment and rapid delivery enabled me to adhere to a very tight schedule.

Ioan Florea, Artist

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