- DUS Architects has 3-D printed an "Urban Cabin" in Amsterdam, complete with a 3-D-printed outdoor bathtub, that guests can now rent out, according to 3DPrint.com.
- The 92-square-foot cabin, located in a former industrial area of the city, is made of a black, linseed oil-based "bio print" material, which can be shredded and reused. The angular protrusion pattern incorporated into the design contributes to the cabin's structural stability.
- DUS Architects' main 3-D printing claim to fame is the 3-D-printed Canal House, a three-year project in its final stages, also in Amsterdam.
DUS is part of a 3-D-printing movement focused on novel design and materials. 3-D printing has emerged as a rapidly evolving technology with far-reaching implications for construction, as it can reportedly reduce production time by 50%-70%, labor cost by 50%-80% and construction waste by 30%-60%.
In June, Tennessee company Branch Technology announced that it would build the winning design of its first 3-D-printed, single-family home design competition — architecture firm WATG Chicago's "Curve Appeal." Curve Appeal will also be a testing ground for Branch's cellular fabrication technology known as C-Fab, which the company said can provide stronger and less expensive wall systems. C-Fab uses a custom robotic arm, which extrudes carbon-fiber-reinforced ABS plastic, to create structures up to 425 square feet. Once printed, the structures can then be covered with spray foam, concrete or other traditional building materials.
There are also those focusing on the mass production side of the technology. Earlier this month, WinSun, a Chinese 3-D printing company, entered into talks with Saudi Arabia to potentially help the country build 1.5 million homes over the next five years. Saudi Arabia is not immune from the middle-class housing shortages plaguing other countries, and the government is exploring ways to alleviate that crunch. If Saudi Arabia and WinSun strike a deal, it will be the largest 3-D printing project in history.
In another practical push, English researchers announced in February that they would study how aerial additive building manufacturing could be used in creating post-disaster housing. They said they aimed to use drone-gathered information to create a design that 3-D-print-enabled drones can then build. Researchers said this method is ideal for areas that are not accessible after natural or other disasters.