Inside The World's First Community Of Livable 3D-Printed Homes

The project aims to cut building costs and environmental damage.

A neighbourhood of 3D-printed, fully habitable homes will be on the rental market by next year, in what its backers claim will be a game-changer for the building industry.

A Dutch neighbourhood in the city of Eindhoven will be the site of the world-first commercial development that will see five printed concrete homes all occupied.

The world-first 3D-printed development will be built in Eindhoven. Image: 3D-Printed House.

It’s called Project Milestone, and its partners say the method not only cuts costs and environmental outputs but also addresses a shortage of bricklayers.

A 3D printer acts like a robotic arm that squirts out a formulated amount of cement. This contrasts to traditional pouring, where structures are solid and contain much more concrete than needed constructively.

3D printing allows for construction of homes of almost any shape. Image: 3D-Printed House

The developers said the homes will be designed on “erratic blocks in a green landscape” based on 3D printing enabling construction of “very fine concrete structures” of “almost any shape”.

"Another important advantage is sustainability, as much less concrete is needed and hence much less cement, which reduces the CO2 emissions originating from cement production.

Project Milestone is being conducted in partnership with the nearby Eindhoven University of Technology.

Construction is cheaper -- and more sustainable. Image: 3D-Printed House

The first of the five homes, a single-floor house, is expected to be built by mid-2019, with the four others -- multi-storey houses -- set to follow.

“Printing technology and home design will become increasingly complex, as one is built after the other,” the developers said.

In time, they believe people will be able to design homes more finely suited to their own tastes.