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Architect plans world's first 3D-printed building

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Deborah Netburn

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3D printing: a world of possibilities

Once only available to high tech manufacturers and engineers, 3D printing has now become an accessible and creative tool.

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Can you program a 3D printer to build an entire building? Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars wants to try.

The Dutch architect has laid out plans for Landscape House - a structure that looks like a Mobius strip or "one surface folded over into an endless band", as he describes it.

To build it, he plans to use a 3D printer called D-Shape that will lay down thin layers of sand that combine with a bonding agent to create a material that is reportedly akin to marble. 

A rendering of Landscape House on Universe Architecture's Facebook page. The house, to be built in part with a 3-D printer, is inspired by the Mobius strip.

A rendering of Landscape House on Universe Architecture's Facebook page. The house, to be built in part with a 3-D printer, is inspired by the Mobius strip.

Ruijssenaars has a few partners joining him on this strange house printing journey. To design the home he worked with Rinus Roelofs, a sculptor and mathematician. To build it, he will work with Enrico Dini, the large scale 3D printing expert who invented the D-Shape printer. 

If you are imagining a giant house-sized printer slowly but surely building a house layer by layer, then you don't quite have it right.

The Landscape House will be printed in chunks 6 metres by 9 metres. Each structure will be built from the bottom up, in a series of 5mm layers of sand deposit. When the building is done, workers will brush away the loose sand to reveal the bonded sand structure underneath.

As 3S printing is still a pretty new process, the structure will still have some concrete and fiberglass reinforcements.

The BBC reports that the cost of the building will be $4 million to $5 million euros ($5 to 6 million), and Ruijssenaars is hoping to have it finished by the end of 2014.

To see the D-Shape in action and learn more about the inventor, check out the video below.

Los Angeles Times

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