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Amsterdam architects join race to build 3D-printed house

DUS Architects announces plans for a two-story canal house built by the firm's mobile printing facility that lives in a shipping container.

DUS Architects

With 3D printing growing ever more powerful, it's really only a matter of time before a 3D-printed house arrives. So far, we've seen Dutch firm Universe Architecture announce its 3D-printed Landscape House, modeled after a Mobius strip. London firm Softkill pooh-poohed Universe's design, since it will use poured concrete in 3D-printed molds, and presented its own spiderweb-Skeletor ProtoHouse.

Not to mention the European Space Agency's plans to 3D-print a moon base, a sort of extraterrestrial abode for astronauts.

Now another Dutch firm has stepped up to the plate. DUS Architects has announced that it will make the world's first 3D-printed canal house, with work to start in the next six months.

The plan is to use the KamerMaker printer. This is a mobile printing facility that lives in a shipping container designed by DUS Architects. It can be moved from site to site, and its name literally means "room creator" in Dutch. It can print rooms up to 2x2x3.5 metres (width x length x height).

The KamerMaker will be placed on the building site by the Buiksloter-canal in northern Amsterdam, where it will manufacture the building bit by bit, starting with the facade and first room, then the following rooms in the months after, for as long as it takes within the three-year period for which DUS has access to the site. Each part will be printed and tested at a 1:20 scale before being manufactured in actual size.

And although the building will start off being made from polypropylene, the team hopes to incorporate biomaterials and recycled plastics into later rooms.

The aim is not necessarily to build a dwelling at this time, but a public research centre for 3D-printed architecture where interested parties can visit to watch and learn more about the manufacturing process.