3D Printed Homes Sweep Design Community

WATG’s curved home is the latest in a wave of 3D printed homes sweeping the design community. Photo courtesy of WATG.

The advent of 3D printing has proven a boon for all things commercial, social and medical. The opportunity to render a product remotely hasn’t been lost on the design community either. Everything from sculptures to simple home accessories can be fully fleshed out by the remarkable technology that is 3D printing.

Here’s a look at three design firms “printing” homes and structures across the globe:

DUS Architects (Amsterdam)

DUS Architects Urban Cabin is composed of sustainable bio-plastic. Photo courtesy of DUS Architects.

The ever inventive folks at DUS Architects in Amsterdam have erected an intimately cozy home from the plush confines of their very own webosphere. Their urban cabin is composed of sustainable bio-plastic and serves as a shining example of how quickly and efficiently we can respond to disasters or refugee crises with functional, sustainable and environmentally friendly shelters.

The urban cabin takes up a mere 25 cubic meters and features the basic amenities one would expect of a cabin/camping experience. DUS is currently inviting guests to “spend the night” to see just what good 3D printing can do for the world.

Yingchuang New Materials (Shanghai)

Yingchuang New Materials’ 3D printed homes and structures for an industrial park. Photo courtesy of Yingchuang New Materials.

Back in 2014, Chinese firm Yingchuang New Materials went on a marathon 3D-printing spree, and the result was epic. In under 24 hours the firm built 10 buildings from construction waste. The entirety of the structures, with exception for the roofs, were completely 3D printed. Not only were the materials repurposed for the greater good of society, but the structures were incredibly inexpensive.

While the 24-hour construction event was certainly a record breaker, getting there took more than 12 years of research and development and £2 million worth of investment in the actual manufacturing device used for the construction. Two years after their resurrection, those 10 structures found their ultimate purpose serving as much-needed office space in an industrial park. Among other highlights, Yingchuang has also produced 3D printed public restrooms and homes.

WATG / Urban Architecture Studio

WATG’s Curve Appeal home. Photo courtesy of WATG.

Design firm WATG / Urban Architecture Studio, with 11 offices across the world (including Chicago, Dubai, London) won the Freeform Home Design Challenge with a pitch for a 3D printed home they aptly named “Curve Appeal.” The home resembles a curvaceous bungalow plucked from the cartoon celluloid of the Jetsons. But rather than wallow in a make-believe childhood fantasy, WATG’s creatives concretized a strong game plan to make this very home a reality.

The home boasts an outer shell and inner shell that work in unison to form a solid sustainable unit. Panels will be constructed fusing a mix of plastic and carbon fiber upon which additional layer of foam and concrete will be added. The single family home will go into production in 2017 out of Branch Technology’s lab in Chattanooga, TN.