It was almost three years ago when Janjaap Ruijssenaars, a Dutch Architect, introduced the concept of 3D-printed Landscape House. It was a structural modification of a Mobius strip under which the Landscape house would twist above and below the surface on its own. The only issue was, no construction company was in position to take up this project at that time.
Fortunately, a European construction company called Universe Architecture, decided to bring this project to life. Recently, it unveiled a 3D BUILDER 3D printing platform in Fab City Amsterdam in association with BAM. Designed by the two companies together, the freeform 3D printer will be used in production of concrete structures which will include Ruijssenaar’s Landscape Housing concept.
The 3D BUILDER comprises of an interchangeable printhead and an AcoTech industrial robotic arm that is inspired from D-shaped 3D printer from Enrico Dini. Its D-shaped print head comes with 300 nozzles and employs a binder jetting technology for combining sand and solid magnesium oxide via a liquid binder that also has magnesium hexahydrate in it. The 3D BUILDER, uses a robotic arm for sweeping the print head across layers to make materials, the 3D printing platform, on the other hand, uses a large sized gantry system. This allows the 3D BUILDER to offer a much more flexible printing system which only depends on the dimensions and reach of its robotic arm. If this printhead is installed over a larger size robotic arm, huge walls can be 3D printed with much more ease.
Universe Architect and BAM suggest that the robot can move from one side of the building to another one autonomously if Caterpillar tracks can be attached with the machine’s lower end. The partners also plan to add complementary printing techniques in construction process that might help in 3D printing of insulation materials and steel. As Ruijssenaars likes to explain, “it is fantastic that we have jointly conceived a machine that can make something new. This was much more commonplace for architects during the Renaissance.” Further, Rutger Sypkens from BAM likes to add, “As well as the form freedom, we are also very much taken by circular process. Concrete granulate and pre-existing prints can serve as a raw material for the machine at a later stage.”
The two partner companies have already 3D printed a scale model of Landscape house. The 3D printing of this model at 1:4 scale will start soon at the sustainable Fab City campus.