Late this summer, articles appeared on the Internet about a Midwestern man who has built the first castle with a 3D printer. Our blog content isn’t new to the discussion of 3D printing. We’ve talked about it previously in our blogs Affordable Housing in Under 24 Hours and The World’s First Commercial House 3D Printer For Sale.
Imagine our excitement to see someone right here in the Midwest, only hours from where we’re located, using this new technology. It’s something we hope to use in our business in the future when the technology becomes more accessible, affordable, and in general once they just have all the kinks worked out.
According to several articles about this project, Minnesota-based engineer Andrey Rudenko built a 12-foot-tall castle using one of the first 3-D concrete printers in the world. Rudenko has a background in engineering and architecture. The children’s play castle was constructed in his backyard, where he built it layer by layer using a 3D concrete printer. Most 3D printers have only produced smaller items such as parts. As of Fall 2014 it was the first concrete 3D castle printed in the world, and the first 3D printed concrete structure in the United States.
Rudenko’s future building plans, according to reports? A 2-story house!
In April 2014 when Rudenko first announced his plans to build a structure using 3D printing (before he’d constructed the castle), he told 3DPrint.com: “A cheap house built in 24 hours is not my goal. My current focus is building well-insulated small or medium-sized homes of a contemporary design, definitely onsite. As an experienced builder, I know that to avoid problems in the future, it is more important to produce homes of a good quality, which may take longer to build than cheaper homes made quickly. It would be more beneficial to print a complete home, including the foundation for the staircase, fireplace, certain furniture (kitchen island etc), columns, interior walls, and any wiring or plumbing that would fit inside the printed walls.”
While Rudenko started with a castle as his first building project, Rudenko’s passion and vision really seems to focus on minimizing the labor involved in home building, as he explained to 3DPrint.com: “3D printing in construction will not wholly replace previous techniques, and materials such as brick will continue to be utilized. Rather, 3D printing will significantly supplement the manual work. The technology aims to considerably lower production cost, provide a safer and more comfortable building process, and allow for much more architectural flexibility. In place of an entire group of construction workers, two people will facilitate the 3D printing process: one with appropriate computer skills in charge of the programming, and one working with the materials (e.g. sand and cement), placing reinforcing steel bars inside the forms, maintaining the machine at the end of the day, and so forth.”
See more photos and information about the project here.
And watch a video about the project here.
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Photo Credit, Andrey Rudenko