Millions of visitors come to Amsterdam every year to see the famous canals and their illustrious Golden Age houses on the ´Gouden Bocht’ on Unesco’s World Heritage List. But since US President Barack Obama was given a private viewing of this project during his visit to the Rijksmuseum in 2014, tourists have been flocking to North Amsterdam for a very different sight: the building of a canal house by 3D printer. DUS Architects have set themselves the task of being the first to build a house using the world’s largest portable 3D printer.
The ‘Kamermaker’ is a large silver metal tower containing a huge 3D printer. Initially it was located on the grass of the Schommeltuin next to the entrance to the Tolhuistuin gardens, just 300 metres from the Buiksloterweg ferry. But, being portable, it was moved to the ‘building site’ on the Buiksloter Canal – behind the Toren, the old Shell tower and A Lab the big red brick building (Shell’s former laboratories). Now an even bigger Kamermaker printer is being built with twice the printing capacity and the ability to print 24/7 without intervention. And the building site is set to move again soon.
It’s an impressive sight. Builders’ hut, fences, light towers and the big silver ‘Kamermaker’ (literally ‘room-maker’) where the magic happens. And the constant to-ing and fro-ing of high-tech ‘builders’ between the COOP building (next to the Tolhuistuin), where DUS Architects are based and the building site. Every day, the silver tower spits out another building block. It’ll be three years before the whole house has been printed.
Want to see what it looks like? Follow 3D Print Canal House on Facebook or via Twitter for the latest updates, or drop Visit the ‘building site’.
“It’s not that we think everyone should live in a plastic house, ha ha. It’s the material that works at the moment.” says DUS architect Hans Vermeulen. At the moment building methods cannot keep up with the pace of growth in mega cities. That’s why 3D printing could provide a solution to urban growth in future decades.
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