A printable house, in the forests of Denmark

I’ve long thought that the way we build hones today is one of the least efficient methods of production that we have. Even on identical tract homes, it seems like every home is a custom job. Stacks of wood arrive, and out come the saw and hammers and the skilled workers squint at the blueprints and try to replicate the plan as best they can. And that’s just the framing.

Denmark's first digitally fabricated housing. 800 sheets sustainable plywood is converted into 400 building components that together form a dwelling in the middle of the forest in Asserbo.

Eventually, most low to mid level priced homes will be 3D printed. We’ve recently been having peeks at what’s coming, but we’re still a long way off. One interesting project can be found in a forest outside of Copenhagen Denmark. Danish architects Frederik Agdrup and Nicholas Bjorndal of Eentileen, in collaboration with Facit-homes.com, have “printed” a house, and the project is appropriately called the “Print a House” project.

Technically, it’s not a 3D printed house. It’s a CNC’d house. A CNC is like a computerized milling machine that cuts the wood panels to the size they need, with all the cutouts where they are required. A CNC machine is a subtractive process, as opposed to 3D printing which is an additive process. This means that the CNC starts with a large piece of material, and then subtracts from it. But it’s still very cool, and we don’t have 3D printers big enough to pull off such large sections (yet).

The first Print A House home they have built is Eentileen’s (named Named Villa Asserbo) and it’s 1.345 square feet. It was built with 820 sheets of plywood that were slotted and fitted together, without the use of any heavy machinery. The two completed the home in 4 weeks.

The environmental impact is minimal. The wood is the only wall material used (other than windows), and it is PEFC certified from sustainable forests in Finland. Although the CNC process is subtractive, the computer-developed pieces were designed to waste as little wood as possible. And there is no concrete, and the structural steel is minimal.

A Print A House can be easily and quickly constructed in almost any location or situation. And, since the home sits on it’s screw pile foundations, it can even be moved to a new location.

Thomsen calls has this to say about his revolutionary project::

“…you have every information: design, interface, everything in a digital platform. And you can just deliver that file to Norway, to China, to the countries that you want to export this concept to – and they can adjust it to the market there.”

Green. Efficient. Less expensive. Easily replicated. Portable. And this is just with CNC machines. Wait until we start actually printing entire homes.

Via: Smart Planet

  • This would be my dream come true.

    Ideally I would acquire say 10 acres of land.

    Then be able to design and have transported a home such as this…and maybe one or two guest homes.

    Hopefully by then I will also be able to buy a unit that can produce its own energy by solar/wind and store it as hydrogen…for use at night and to gas up my fuel cell vehicle.

    Water would then be the only necessity, and the fuel cell could easily act as a water purifier.

    Internet would be handled with Wimax.

    This is my complete “off grid” or rather “loosely coupled” solution.

  • Ron G.

    Hi Mark,

    Which Stock company is into 3 D printers that build houses, not just this one but I’ve seen a video at

    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/428909/a-3-d-printed-house/?ref=rss that can build large houses, more than one floor.

    I’m aware of DDD, SSYS, DASTY, ONVO, AND ADSK (I think), but how do I find out what they specize in or what they want to branch out into?

    Ron G.

  • Ron G.

    Oops, I meant specialize.

  • There are no public companies that specialize in 3D printing houses or large structures of any type. The technology just isn’t there yet.