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Science & Technology

The future of building? Watch the French 'builderbot' that 3D printed a family home for five in just 54 hours

Thursday 12/July/2018 - 10:26 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
A team of researchers، scientists and engineers from France have created a 3D printed house in just a matter of hours، as the Daily Mail said.

For the first time ever، the four-bedroom house will serve as a permanent home for a family of five.

The 1،022-square-foot house، located in the northwestern French city of Nantes، only took about two days - or 54 hours - to complete.
Its creators believe they could construct the same house again in just 33 hours in the future، according to the BBC.

The house feature five rooms in total: four bedrooms and a bathroom with a full shower.

It also has sliding doors، windows and an IoT system that lets residents manage things like the temperature using a tablet.

Scientists built the house using a novel BatiPrint 3D printing process، in which a robot constructs the house's elaborate، curved walls.

The house is designed ahead of time by architects and scientists. Then، the designs are sent to the 3D printer، which brings them to life.

The machine prints the layers from the ground up، with each wall containing two layers of expansive foam، or polyurethane - to serve as an insulator - as well as a third layer of concrete.

It appears as a shaving-cream type material that slightly expands to form the walls.

'Once the walls have been constructed، the foam is kept in place in order to insulate the house without thermal bridging،' the researchers explained.

The robot's movements are controlled by a laser sensor، which reads instructions based on the digital model of the house.

'Mounted on an AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle)، it is adapted to the external environmental limitations of the construction site، and stable in order to allow the controlled injection of the material،' they continued.

Nordine and Nouria Ramdani، as well as their three daughters، will soon call the property their home.

The house was constructed as part of a collaboration between the Nantes city council، the University of Nantes and a local housing association.

Its creators hope that it will revolutionize the construction process in the future.
For 2،000 years there hasn't been a change in the paradigm of the construction process. We wanted to sweep this whole construction process away،' Francky Trichet، the city counci's head of technology and innovation، told the BBC.

'That's why I'm saying that we're at the start of a story. We've just written، "Once upon a time."'

Once the house is constructed، the robot can then be transported to another site to complete other construction projects.

Researchers say 3D printing cuts down on construction time and improves thermal insulation، while reducing the operating costs of construction.

The project، called Yhnova، cost roughly $207،000 (£176،000) to build، making it about 20% cheaper than traditional building methods، BBC noted.

3D printing a home ultimately gives architects greater control over the design of the space، as they can use non-traditional shapes.
It was designed to be able to curve around a 100-year-old tree situated on the land.

The process is also more environmentally friendly than traditional processes.

Nantes researchers and scientists hope that the process can be duplicated for new uses، like public buildings، community centers and more.

'It is clear that construction robotics will bring drastic changes to digital technology in the construction industry،' Benoit Furet، the project's leader، said in a statement.

'BatiPrint3DTM is a construction concept that will find a wide variety of applications and one for which we will be expanding the possibilities of use.'

Furet is spearheading a plan to build 18 more houses like the Yhnova property in France.

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