The first ever 3-D printed home is alive, well and family occupied in Nantes, France. The 1,022 square foot house cost $233,500, 20% less than the cost for a comparable house.
The house printing took 54 hours; the windows, doors and roof took 4 months. Now that this first one is finished, everyone involved with the project say the time to print the next house will easily be halved.
Benoit Furet, the brains behind this 3-D printed house, is the head project designer for printed house development at the University of Nantes. Furet thinks that construction costs for printed houses will be cut by 25% within 5 years and by 40% within 10-15 years. “Technology is becoming more refined and cheaper to develop plus there economies of scale as more and more printed houses” come to market.
Furet is now working on creating a suburban neighborhood just to the north of Paris for 18 printed houses. He is also working on a large commercial printed building for social housing.
This first printed house has been made possible by collaboration between the city council in Nantes, a housing agency and the University of Nantes. Francky Trichet, the city council’s lead on technology and innovation, said, “We’re at the start of a story. We’ve just written, ‘Once upon a time,’ with this printed house. For there to be more printed houses for mainstream residential living and commercial buildings like sports halls, this type of collaboration is necessary.”
The process of building a 3-D printed house went something like this…
- the house was designed by a team of architects and scientists in a studio and then programmed into a 3-D computer
- the printer was brought to the house site
- the printer printed in layers from the floor upwards
- each wall consisted of two layers of insulator polyurethane with a space in-between that was filled with cement
- this combination of insulator polyurethane and cement created thick, insulated fully durable walls
- once printed, windows doors and the roof were then fitted
This particular house was built for a family of 5 with four bedrooms and a large central living space. The architects and scientists designed the house with curved walls for better ventilation and to build around an existing, very old tree on the house site.
Will we someday order our customized 3-D printed house houses online the way we now order our customized tiny houses online? Perhaps Jeff Bezos knows the answer to that question.