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    This 3D printed concrete house combines revolutionary tech with Italian design details

    Geraldine Chua

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    Massimiliano Locatelli of Italian studio CLS Architetti, in collaboration with Italcementi Heidelberg Cement Group, Arup and Cybe, has 3D printed a 100sqm house in just 48 hours at Milan’s design festival, Salone del Mobile.

    Located at the Piazza Cesare Beccaria, 3D Housing 05 is the first 3D printed concrete house in the EU. It was built on site by Cybe Construction’s mobile 3D concrete printer, the Cybe RC 30p, and includes a living room, bedroom, kitchen and terrace roof.

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    3D Housing 05 is made of 35 modules. The curved walls were printed before the roof, windows and doors were added. While the 3D printing process took two days, the house was completed within a week.

    The Cybe RC 30p printer moves on caterpillar tracks, and features a high printing speed and range that goes up to 450m in height. It uses a special mortar, produced with far less CO2 emissions than traditional Portland cement.   Italcementi, one of the world’s largest cement suppliers, advised the team on the base mix for the concrete used.

    “3D concrete printing is build up layer by layer, and the layers will be visible when we don’t apply any finishing,” Cybe explains.

    “The dimensions of a printed layer vary according to the use of a particular nozzle. We work with different nozzles for various applications.

    “Although we can apply different methods of finishing, this is not always used.”

    This was the case for 3D Housing 05, whose 3D printed layers are displayed in full glory. The concrete composite is juxtaposed with timeless materials—brass for the window frames, marble of the bath fixtures, smoothed plaster as one of the possible wall finishes, and sheets of polished brass in the industrial-style kitchen.

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    The heritage of Italian design and details are combined with technological innovation to create a home that looks almost move-in ready.

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    At the same time, the stratification of the concrete features a pattern that allows climbing plants to grow spontaneously toward the roof, which is transformed into an urban garden.

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    Designed and engineered in two months, the prototype aims to demonstrate the possibilities of 3D printing in the realm of sustainable architecture.

    “The construction industry is one of the world’s biggest users of resources and emitters of CO2. We want to bring a paradigm shift in the way the construction industry operates and believe that 3D printing technology is critical to making buildings more sustainable and efficient,” Guglielmo Carra, Europe Materials Consulting Lead at Arup, says.

    “It creates less waste during construction and materials can be repurposed and reused at the end of their life. ”

    3D Housing 05 will be disassembled and reconstructed at the Italcementi headquarters on the outskirts of the city, where it will be subject to a series of tests that monitor how its structure performs over time.

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