(Engadget)— In The Netherlands, a company called Van Wijnen is working with the city of Eindhoven to build the world’s first community of 3D-printed houses. The planned community will have five houses, all printed with concrete.
Each subsequent house will build on the ones that came before; the first house will be relatively simple, just one story. The fifth house will be two stories and incorporate what the team has previously learned.
At the beginning, the houses will be printed offsite and brought to their final location in the Meerhoven district of Eindhoven. The aim is to make the futuristic-looking houses a work of art in and of themselves, so the final community looks like a sort of sculpture garden.
Van Wijnen is embarking on this project for multiple reasons. According to The Guardian, there are a shortage of bricklayers in The Netherlands. The craft is becoming more expensive as a result. In contrast, concrete is relatively in expensive and versatile.
What’s more, 3D printing it is economical because none of the material goes to waste, and the method allows printing different types of concrete (reinforced with insulation or coated with dirt repellant) at once. Additionally, it can be easily customized according to the wishes of the person who will live in the home.
The real key here is that these homes aren’t just models; they will actually be lived in. And if this project is successful, more 3D-printed concrete homes will follow. The first home of Project Milestone should be ready sometime in 2019.
For now, the homes are being printed offsite, but the company hopes that by the fifth house, the work will be done at the Meerhoven site. And apparently, the waiting list for the first house is already 20 people long, so it’s clear that Van Wijnen won’t have trouble finding someone to rent their 3D printed homes.