Scientists at the University of Maine have used one of the world’s largest 3D printers to create the “Biohome3D,” a house that was 3D-printed from 100% natural materials. At a cozy 600 square feet, it’s far from a mansion, but it towers above the world’s most colossal residences in its own way — namely that it’s the first-ever 3D-printed home to be made fully of environmentally-friendly components.
The floors, walls and roof of “Biohome3D” were all 3D-printed, and are made from a mixture of biological resins and sustainably-sourced wood fibers. It’s also 100% recyclable. Though its creation was a massive undertaking between the University of Maine, the US government’s Department of Energy and other parties, the actual assembly of it was far quicker than most traditional homes: the University of Maine notes in a press release that four large 3D modules were printed before the home was assembled in roughly half a day, and an electrician took two hours to fully wire it — a far cry from traditional construction methods and materials, which often leave a great environmental footprint and take months to put a home together.
University of Maine spokespeople note that “Biohome3D” was created to alleviate the US’s current affordable housing shortage, stating “Less time is required on-site building and fitting up the home due to the use of automated manufacturing and off-site production. Printing using abundant, renewable, locally sourced wood fiber feedstock reduces dependence on a constrained supply chain. These materials support the revitalization of local forest product industries and are more resilient to global supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.” Future iterations of the home will be customizable so they can meet “a homeowner’s space, energy efficiency and aesthetic preferences.”
“Biohome 3D” is currently located outside of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, equipped with sensors that monitor its structural integrity as well as its thermal and environmental capabilities. Data collected from these sensors will inform future designs, as the first “Biohome3D” is a prototype.
Check out the University of Maine’s full statement for more info, and if you’re on the hunt for other illuminating design news check out Palace and Anglepoise’s “permanently lit” lamp collaboration.