Architecture and Design

Architect unveils 3D printer to make ‘endless’ house

Unique machine can create enormous sections that can be fitted together into one long continuous loop like a Möbius strip, says Dutch visionary

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 12:31pm

A Dutch architect has unveiled a unique 3D printer with which he aims to construct a large building “without beginning or end” shaped like an infinite loop.

“It’s just like a normal printer,” said Janjaap Ruijssenaars, presenting the tool he hopes to use to build what he has dubbed the “Landscape House”.

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“But instead of putting ink onto paper, we are putting a liquid onto sand which solidifies wherever the liquid has been spread.”

Ruijssenaars, of Universe Architecture in Amsterdam, aims to print a Möbius strip-shaped building with around 12,000 sq ft of floor space using the massive D-Shape printer.

Designed by Italian Enrico Dini, the printer can make pieces up to 6 m square , using a computer to help build up fine layers of 5-10 mm thick.

The machine is almost two metres long and has been set up in a warehouse in Amsterdam, where the final tests are being carried out before pressing ahead with the start of building.

“The ambition was to make a building that has an infinite structure, like planet earth,” said Ruijssenaars.

“Planet earth doesn’t have a beginning or an ending and we were looking for a shape that has the same quality,” he added.

“It didn’t become a circle but it became a very complex Möbius strip, which is a well-known mathematics figure which just has one side.”

The ambitious project was first unveiled in 2013, and the team has been in touch with various partners hoping to be able to start construction “within the next few years”.

It is hoped the building, which will also include more traditional design elements, can be used as a space for exhibitions or sculptures.

The initial plan had not been to print the building, but it turned out that a 3D printer was the most practical way of making his house without beginning or end.

It will not be the world’s first 3D-printed building, however, as such projects have been undertaken in China and Dubai, albeit using a different method.