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The BAM 3D printer

For nearly every relevant application, the benefit of using robots is that they will do tirelessly do things that we can’t—or just really really don’t want to—do. From the most mundane tasks like vacuuming and perhaps one day even routinely cooking our meals and doing all those dirty dishes to the most elevated future tasks like assisting in the colonization of Mars, we have a lot of plans for these machines. And while many of their uses do still seem futuristic, the advent of a new automated 3D printer may bring the technology of robotics to the present much more quickly than expected, working for the benefit of the construction industry with its first example being an extremely progressive home design. Forget those silly household tasks—this machine is building the whole house from top to bottom.

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(Image: Universe Architecture)

The Landscape House, an ambitious design we’ve been following by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars and his Rotterdam-based firm, Universe Architecture, is different today in that we see a rare modern construction that wasn’t actually designed with 3D printing in mind; however, Ruijssenaars quickly realized that would be the best way to bring his concept to fruition. And as we’ve seen time and time before, if innovators today don’t have a 3D printer at hand to make a particular construction, they create one.

Thus, the designer worked with the Royal BAM Group as they designed a giant automated 3D printer to complete the project, inspired by the design of the D-Shape printer, using techniques similar to that of an inkjet printer, allowing for a bonding liquid to be applied to sand, rapidly hardening into the desired shape. We reported on this previously as the printer and project were falling into place, and now the new 3D Builder has not only been unveiled but it is actually in the process of building the Landscape House as its first trial project, in Amsterdam.

Both the printer and the design can and will be seen as unique in themselves, with the robotic machine steadily working to create this true 3D printed house, to be perfected in the elegant and infinite form of the Möbius Strip. The very special architecture harkens back to a famous mathematical surface that while two-sided, creates the illusion of having only one side upon being manipulated with a half twist. The idea is to allow for an infinite loop, creating the idea that one is walking through it endlessly—and while that doesn’t sound too appealing if you are the housecleaner, it certainly is a beautiful architectural concept, and unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

According to BAM, their 3D Builder is the first of its kind where free-form print technology is linked to automotive industry robotics. It was developed through a collaboration with the Eindhoven robotics company Acotech, and will print in both stone and concrete, as well as being capable of innovative techniques for making both steel and insulation material. But what makes the robotic printer extremely special is that it can be fitted with caterpillar tracks that allow it to travel from one site to another.

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The 3D Builder also offers a circular process as it recycles its own materials and waste in the form of concrete and stone that can just keep being used.

“As well as the form freedom, we are also very much taken by the circular process. Concrete granulate and pre-existing prints can serve as a raw material for the machine at a later stage,” said Rutger Sypkens of BAM Bouw en Techniek.

The cost of this 3D printed house was originally set at €4-5 million (translated to $5.3-6.7 million USD), with the hopes that the new technology will become widespread eventually, from use in constructing homes to museums, and more, and allowing for versatility and complexity in ornamental exteriors.

“It’s fantastic that we have jointly conceived a machine that can make something new. This was much more commonplace for architects during the Renaissance,” said Ruijssenaars.

1501714_568693209866839_1767093055_nCertainly no stranger to progress design—or excellence within—Ruijssenaars won acclaim for his floating bed concept some years back, using magnets coupled with an austere design to present the levitating bed, held above the floor by four thin cables. A renowned architect, Ruijssenaars has been teaching at the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects, the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam and the Academy of Architecture Rotterdam, founding Universe Architecture in 2000.

Ruijssenaars’ interests lie in the areas of urbanism, architecture, design and research, as well as offering ‘innovation by going back in time.’ He has created other projects such as the Tetris House, and even his own new technique called Gravity Energy, which is meant to be a breakthrough as an alternative offering to both solar and wind technologies. You can find out more about this amazing Dutch designer here. Discuss over in the 3D Printed Landscape House forum at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: Global Construction ReviewConstruction Enquirer, Gizmag]

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