16 house 3D printers available in 2017

 

What are the best house 3D printers?

Building a house is a process that is not only time-consuming, but also expensive. However, this could soon change. More and more manufacturers are exploring the world of construction 3D printing, also known as house 3D printing.

House 3D printers use paste extrusion to build houses. It is a similar technology to the one that FFF 3D printers use. Paste-type material, such as concrete or mud, is pushed through the house 3D printer’s nozzle in layers. 3D printing in the construction industry helps save time, effort and material.

However, construction 3D printers are not yet capable of creating a fully functional house. Indeed, only the frame and walls of the house are built– other elements, such as electricity or indoor plumbing, need to be manually installed.

To provide a complete overview of the construction 3D printer market, we have listed 16 house 3D printing solutions. Some of them are 3D printers available for sale, but most are still at the start-up prototype stage or are external house 3D printing services.

16 house construction 3D printers

House 3D printerCategoryBuild Size (meters)..............CountryMaterial
BetAbram
P1
House 3D printer1.6 x 8.2 x 2.5SloveniaConcrete
Cazza
X1
House 3D printerup to 5m in heightUnited StatesConcrete
Machines-3D 3D ConstructorHouse 3D printer1.8 x 1.8 x 1.6FranceConcrete/Earth materials
3D Printhuset 3D printerPrototype8 x 8 x 6DenmarkConcrete
MIT Digital Construction PlatformPrototype1.52 x 1.52 x 36.6United StatesEarth materials
Stroybot2PrototypeUnited StatesConcrete
V2 Vesta 3D printerPrototype3 x 3 x 3United StatesConcrete
WASP BigDeltaPrototypeItalyConcrete/Earth materials
Apis Cor 3D printerService8.5 x 1.6 x 1.5RussiaConcrete
Batiprint3D 3D printerServiceup to 7m highFrancePolyurethane/Concrete
Contour CraftingServiceUnited StatesConcrete
CyBe Construction CyBe R 3DpService2.75 x 2.75 x 2.75NetherlandsConcrete
DUS Architects XL 3D printer (KamerMaker)Service1.6 x 1.6 x 4.5NetherlandsRecycled/Bio-based
HuaShang Tengda 3D printing systemServiceChinaConcrete
Imprimere
AG BIG 3D-Printer 2156
Service5.75 x 6 x 6.25SwitzerlandConcrete
XtreeEServiceFranceConcrete
This table shows our selection of 16 house construction 3D printers available on the market in 2017. They are ranked by category (house 3D printers, prototype, or service). It is possible to rank these house 3D printers by material, country or build size by clicking on that specific column title.
Machine-3D 3D Constructor

 The Machines-3D 3D Constructor.

How to build 3D printed houses?

House 3D printing technology

House 3D printers use extrusion technology. Some models’ appearance can be compared with super-sized desktop FFF/FDM 3D printers, whereas others consist of a rotating mechanical arm. Paste-type components, such as concrete or earth, are used as filament. Material is pushed out of a special nozzle to form layers, designing the foundations and walls of the house or building.




Differences between 3D printed houses and traditional houses

The main takeaway here is that 3D printed houses are built in less time and with less material than traditional houses. Even if they have a rougher exterior, post-processing is an option just as it is for regular 3D printed objects. 3D printed houses tend to be smaller due to 3D printer build volume limits, but this is not always the case.

WASP BigDelta 3D printer

The WASP BigDelta house 3D printer in action.
Credit: inhabitat

Benefits of house 3D printing

House 3D printing offers significant advantages compared with traditional buildings:

  • Ecological: 3D printed houses can be built with organic, eco-friendly materials. Moreover, some house 3D printers use solar energy and generate low CO2 emissions.
  • Social: house 3D printers can build affordable houses using earth materials, being of great aid for people in poverty-stricken regions.
  • Economical scaling: house 3D printing reduces certain building costs. For example, the cost for 1 square meter of wall using traditional construction methods is approximately $75, whereas with the Apis Cor house 3D printer it is only $27.
  • Efficient: since the materials needed to 3D print a house are 3D printed on demand, the machines produce less waste. In addition, it is possible to recycle construction materials.

Limits of house 3D printing

Although house 3D printing offers many benefits, there are certain limitations:

  • Expensive initial investment: house 3D printers can sometimes cost up to one million dollars.
  • Partially-built houses: house 3D printers only build house frames. The 3D printing process is usually paused to manually settle plumbing, wiring and rebars.
  • Rough exterior: most 3D printed homes’ exteriors are not as smooth as traditionally-built houses.

Construction 3D printers: overview

House 3D printers

Betabram P1 house 3D printer

BetAbram P1

  • Build size: 1.6 x 8.2 x 2.5 m
  • Material: Concrete, Geopolymers
  • Country: Slovenia

The P1 is one of the three 3D printing house machines produced by the Slovenian manufacturer BetAbram. The BetAbram P1 3D prints houses and other infrastructures that can be made out of concrete.
Cazza X1 construction 3D printer

Cazza X1

  • Build size: Up to 5 m high
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: United States

 

With the Cazza X1, it is possible to 3D print a 2,000 square feet building in eight days. It features a sensor that detects the presence of people to avoid accidents.

 

Construction 3D printer Machines-3D 3D constructor

Machines-3D 3D Constructor

  • Build size: 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.6 m
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: France

The 3D constructor is a mobile house 3D printer made by Machines-3D. This house 3D printer’s design is like that of a scorpion, with a long robotic arm on its back and three robotic legs that help it 3D print on rough terrain. It is available at the manufacturer price of $395,000.



Prototypes

House 3D printer 3D Printhuset

3DPrinthuset 3D printer

  • Build size: 8 x 8 x 6 m
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: Denmark
This construction 3D printer is fast, reaching speeds of up to 2.5 meters per minute. 3D Printhuset uses a mixture of concrete, steel and sand as construction 3D printing material.
MIT Digital Construction Platform

MIT Digital Construction Platform

  • Build size: 1.52 x 1.52 x 3.66 m
  • Material: Earth materials
  • Country: United States
The Digital Construction Platform is a construction 3D printer prototype designed and developed by MIT students. This house 3D printing machine is mobile, as it sits atop a vehicle with tank treads. It features of a pair of robotic arms with nozzles.
House 3D printer Stroybot2

Stroybot2

  • Build size: –
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: United States
The Stroybot2 is a construction 3D printer prototype built by Andrey Rudenko. Stroybot2, using 3D concrete printing technology, was able to construct a prototype castle. This house 3D printer is available as a service.
House 3D printer V2 Vesta

V2 Vesta 3D printer

  • Build size: 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.6 m
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: United States
The V2 Vesta is a house 3D printing prototype designed and built by Alex Le Roux in Texas. This prototype 3D printer is capable of cement-printing a very small house in under 24 hours.
House 3D printer WASP BigDelta 12m wide

WASP BigDeltaWASP 12m

  • Build size: 6 x 6 x 12 m
  • Material: Earth materials
  • Country: Italy
The BigDeltaWASP 12m, from the Italian company WASP, is the result of a research project in the sustainable house construction field. This house 3D printer uses locally-available earth material. With this house 3D printer, the cost of building a 5-meter wall is $50.</span



Services

House 3D printer Apis Cor

Apis Cor 3D printer

  • Build size: 8.5 x 1.6 x 1.5 m
  • Material: Concrete, Geopolymers
  • Country: Russia
The Apis Cor 3D printer can 3D build a house in under 24 hours. This construction 3D printer is relatively transportable to various sites thanks to its compact dimensions (although it weighs 2 tons). A 38 mhouse costs about $10,000 to build with the Apis Cor.
Construction 3D printer Batiprint3D

Batiprint3D 3D printer

  • Build size: Up to 7 meters high
  • Material: Concrete and others
  • Country: France
This house 3D printer made by Batiprint3D 3D prints large scale molds by depositing polyurethane layer by layer to form a shallow support structure. Concrete is then poured inside this structure. Yhnova house has been built thanks to this technique.
Contour Crafting house 3D printer

Contour Crafting 3D printing system

  • Build size: –
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: United States
Contour Crafting is a construction 3D printing company from the US. This company aims to 3D print sustainable houses using gantry cranes, in order to help people after natural disasters. Contour Crafting also 3D prints buildings, infrastructures, and space stations.
House 3D printer CyBe Construction CyBe R 3Dp

CyBe Construction CyBe R 3Dp

  • Build size: 2.75 x 2.75 x 2.75 m
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: Netherlands
The CyBe R 3Dp consists of a single robotic arm with a nozzle at its end. This easy-to-move house 3D printer is capable of reaching up to 2.75 meters high and requires only two people to operate it.
House 3D printer DUS Architects Kamermaker

DUS Architects XL 3D printer (KamerMaker)

  • Build size: 1.6 x 1.6 x 4.5 m
  • Material: Earth materials
  • Country: Netherlands
The XL 3D printer was formerly known as the KamerMaker, and was designed by Dutch architects. It was first used to build a prototype canal-house in Amsterdam using recycled materials.
HuaShang Tengda 3D printed house

HuaShang Tengda 3D printing system

  • Build size: –
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: China
The 3D printing system by HuaShang Tengda is constructing durable 3D printed houses. HuaShang Tengda built a 3D printed house capable of withstanding a base 8 earthquake on the Richter magnitude scale.
House 3D printing Imprimere AG 2156

Imprimere AG BIG 3D-Printer 2156

  • Build size: 5.75 x 6 x 6.25 m
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: Switzerland
The BIG 3D-Printer 2156 is a massive construction 3D printer that uses cement. This machien is one of the four available house 3D printers from Imprimere AG, a Swiss manufacturer. It is possible to lease this 3D printer by the hour.
XtreeE house 3D printer

XtreeE 3D printer

  • Build size: –
  • Material: Concrete
  • Country: France

XtreeE is a 3D printing service company from France that develops house 3D printing technology for the architectural design, engineering and construction fields. XtreeE recently 3D printed a tree-shaped structure by pouring concrete cast in a special mould.




3D printed house time and cost

Since construction 3D printing is still in its early years, it is difficult to provide a definite statement about 3D printed house pricing.

3D printed house price

3D printed house prices vary widely depending on the models. For instance, the small house that was 3D printed by the Apis Cor in less than 24 hours, cost less than $10,000. One square meter of concrete wall with the same house 3D printer costs approximately $27, which is far less than with normal manufacturing techniques.

On the other hand, a 3D printed facade element made by the manufacturer AG Imprimere costs around $990. In general, it is estimated that a 3D printed house costs 30% to 55% less than a traditional built house.

How long does it take to 3D print a house?

Every house 3D printer is different. That is why the estimate of the amount of time needed to 3D print a building changes depending on the machines.

As a reference, the Apis Cor 3D printer takes less than 24 hours to build a small house. For a 400 m2 mansion, it takes 45 days with the HuaShang Tengda 3D printing system.

Other construction 3D printers

AMT-SPECAVIA

AMT-SPECAVIA is the name of a Russian group of companies associated to create the world’s first residential 3D printed house. Built in the city of Yaroslavl, this 298.5 mhabitation has been erected using a cement-based mixture.

D-Shape construction 3D printer

The D-Shape 3D printer is a multifunctional construction 3D printer that can 3D print very large objects, including houses and prototypes.

Winsun house 3D printer

The Winsun 3D printer is a house 3D printer that was in the spotlight a few years ago. In 2015, however, Contour Crafting’s CEO accused Winsun of stealing their patented technology. Winsun’s website has since been taken down.

AMT-SPECAVIA 3D printed house

3D printed house by AMT-SPECAVIA.
Credit: Sputnik News

Other 3D printed infrastructures

3D printed bridges

Construction 3D printers can also 3D print bridges. In 2015, the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge was 3D printed in Amsterdam. A few years later, in 2017, a 12-meter-long pedestrian bridge was 3D printed in Madrid, Spain. In the same year, the first 3D printed concrete bridge was built in the village of Gemert in the Netherlands.

MX3D 3D printed bridge Amsterdam

MX3D’s 3D printed bridge.
Credit: MX3D

3D printed infrastructures in space

Some house 3D printers are able to withstand harsh environments. That is why more and more manufacturers are interested in 3D printing space stations.

The first 3D printer in space is the Additive Manufacturing Machine. This space 3D printer is owned by Made In Space and designed by Lowe’s. Although this 3D printer is only used to 3D print parts for the International Space Station (ISS), there are future plans for using house 3D printers in space– on the moon or on Mars.

Many companies have been involved in space building projects, including the NASA, the European Space Agency and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. It is possible that we will see the first house 3D printers in space sometime in the next three to four decades.

More 3D printing resources