The world’s first 3D-printed house has been uncovered in the French city of Nantes. “Is this the future? It’s a solution and a constructive principle that is interesting because we create the house directly on site and in addition thanks to the robot, we are able to create walls with complex shapes,” Benoit Furet, a professor who worked on the project.
The first tenants of the groundbreaking public housing property are scheduled to move in by June. Researchers at the University of Nantes are responsible for the project, which was built using a robot 3D printer, known as ‘BatiPrint3D,’ in just 18 days before its hollow walls were filled with cement.
The robot uses a special polymer material that should insulate the 95-square-meter (1000-square-foot), five-room house for a century. The Y-shaped home will be allocated to a local family that qualifies for social housing. The building is equipped with multiple high-tech features designed to cut energy costs, including sensors that monitor air quality, humidity and temperature, as well as equipment to analyze the home’s thermal properties.
Further 3D-printed building projects are underway in the city of Nantes, including a housing estate and a public reception building. The recent advances in 3D printing have also evolved beyond real estate. Expectant parents can now print a life-sized model of their unborn children, and engineers have even developed a 3D-printed shape-shifting smart gel that could pave the way for a new era of soft robotics.