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Managing Editor  | April 2017

French researchers 3-D printing a home from the inside out

A team of researchers from the University of Nantes, Nantes Metropole, Nantes Metropole Habitat (NMH), and Quest Valorisation, with assistance from the Nantes Digital Science Laboratory and the Institute of Research in Civil and Mechanical Engineering are using 3-D printing technology to build a five-room home called YHNOVA, according to an article on 3Dprint.com.



The BatiPrint3D process in action building a curved wall. (YouTube)


The house will be 95 square meters, which is larger than the 38 square-meter home built by Apis Cor that was recently reported at Plastics eMarket. The home will feature complex architectural features, including doors, corners, windows, and rounded walls.


The 3-D printing technique that is being used is called BatiPrint3D, which was developed by the University of Nantes and is a robotic technique for concrete construction.


According to an article on 3Dprintingindustry.com, the process creates large-scale molds of polyurethane as a supporting structure, which is then filled with concrete. The article continued, “The outer 3D printed structure remains to form insulation, therefore making the structure a kind of reverse way of traditionally made walls.”


The goal for the creators of this technique is to reduce construction times for fully certified projects.


The article explained, “The benefits of this new 3D printing method will be truly tested in September when construction of the house begins in Nantes. If successful, the French group will have found a new way of constructing affordable social housing that can be quickly developed on-site.”


The 3Dprint.com article added, “YHNOVA will be a meeting site for both residents and professionals during the testing period, and will then be rented to a family, according to social housing criteria, that’s chosen by the NMH Housing Award Committee. The mobile robot that builds YHNOVA can be used as a jumping-off point for discussions on rethinking current construction methods, like reducing how painful the work is, and limiting the risk of construction workers developing musculoskeletal problems.”


Watch the Batiprint3D process in action in the French video below:

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