‘World’s first’ 3D printed houses to be built in Eindhoven: Another route to smarter cities?

The Netherlands will soon be seeing the first of five planned 3D-printed concrete houses in the city of Eindhoven, as part of Project Milestone.

The municipality of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, contractor Van Wijnen, real estate manager Vesteda, materials company Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix and engineering firm Witteveen+Bos are partners in the project.

The houses are irregular in shape and their design is based on erratic blocks in a green landscape. This design aims at a high level of quality and sustainability.

Interestingly, there will be research conducted on concrete printing that will be done for new innovations. All the five dwellings will be built one after another. This will help innovators to learn and apply the ideas in the next house. The building elements of the first house will all be printed by the concrete printer at the university. It is the intention to gradually shift the whole construction work to the construction site. The last house will be fully realised on site, including the print work.

The city of Eindhoven is quite popular for 3D-concrete printing, as the research group of concrete technology professor Theo Salet and its concrete printer are important elements. Moreover, the group recently printed the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge for cyclists in the village of Gemert.

In terms of what this development may mean for smart cities, Katie Pyzyk, writing for Smart Cities Dive in April, explored the potential, citing a bus stop in China which is 3D printed from recycled materials. “This concept has the potential to alter the way cities view waste and recycling if they can funnel certain materials like plastics to new markets,” Pyzyk wrote. “The technology also has been suggested for maintaining and reinforcing existing infrastructure by printing just the materials necessary to repair elements like masonry, railways, or even roadway potholes.”

Elsewhere, EOS – a well-known technology suppliers in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers – has joined the MindSphere World e.V. (registered association) that promotes the open, cloud-based IoT OS MindSphere. The company is one of the first providers of 3D printing solutions in this organisation, comprising companies like Siemens, Festo and Kuka.

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