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The Printable House: Made With A Computer, A ‘Printer’, And Plywood

Printable house – front

Armed with only a computer, a printer, and 820 sheets of plywood, Danish architects Frederik Agdrup and Nicholas Bjorndal, and collaborators Facit Homes, were able to construct a 1,345 square foot (125 square meter) home. The new “printable house” called Villa Asserbo is located in a forest North of Copenhagen and took only 4 weeks to build.

First, the house starts off as a 3D model on a computer screen. Then it is translated into a manufacturing template and sent to a special printer called a computer numerical code (CNC) machine. Using a fresh supply of sustainably harvested wood, the CNC machine cuts the plywood into sheets that can be slotted together to build the structure. The end result is an entirely digitally fabricated house made in only a few short weeks.

Printable house - side

The key benefits with the new process are that it creates a house both quickly and efficiently, and minimizes the amount of construction mistakes. Since wood is virtually the only construction material used (aside from minimal structural steel and windows), it has few environmental impacts.

Printable house - interior

And because the design and manufacture of the house is “digitally fabricated” it can be adapted and designed differently depending on where it is located. In fact, the key benefit is not the actual construction of the printable house. The key benefit is that the digital processes and techniques can be exported all over the world, and could be particularly helpful for places coping with reconstruction in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Agdrup and Bjorndal are hopeful that the printable house will become a new way to construct homes in the future.

What are your thoughts? Do you think “digitally fabricated” houses will catch on?


Image credits: Eentileen’s Print a House project

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