This 3D printed house is made from a mix of soil, straw, sand, and other sustainable materials!

Using rammed earth, mud, clay and other natural materials for construction is a practice that has been around for at least 10,000 years. Casa Covida is a unique home that blends these age-old construction practices with the marvels of modern technology like 3D printing to elevate sustainable architecture to a new level!

Even today, earth-based houses are used by almost 30 percent of the world’s population because they are low-tech, affordable, and simple. These are not just tiny huts, they cover everything from hand-made earthen buildings to traditionally modern homes – the binding factor is the use of rammed earth techniques as well as sustainable materials like bamboo or wood. These materials are local and easy to source – what could be easier than to use the earth beneath one’s own feet? While some people might think these techniques are outdated, many designers and architects are experimenting with them by mixing them up with 3D printing technology. Emerging Objects is one of these visionary studios that want to explore more novel ways to use 3D printing. Casa Covida has been 3D printed using soil mixed with straw, sand, and other organic materials – a successful experiment by the California-based studio.

The name Casa Covida refers to both the global pandemic and the Spanish word for cohabitation because it was born during a special time where we dealt with both those things. The organic structure is currently a prototype that can host two people and has been 3D-printed in the desert of San Luis Valley, Colorado, using a three-axis SCARA (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) that extruded out an adobe mix of sand, silt, clay, and water. The house has three parts – a central space, a sleeping space, and a bathing space. The central space can be accessed via a wooden door which can be left open/closed thanks to an inflatable pink roof that can be deployed during rain or snow, or if the occupants want to keep the heat of the fire from escaping. The roof is one of the most interesting features and has been inspired by a blooming cactus as a nod to the dwelling’s desert location.

The central space includes the main hearth and two earthen benches called tarima. It also comes equipped with custom-designed earthen cookware which was also 3D-printed using locally sourced micaceous clay. The sleeping space includes a platform made from beetle kill pine (basically wood reclaimed from trees that have been killed off by mountain pine beetles – a big problem in Colorado) and is softened up for comfort with textiles made by local artist Joshua Tafoya. The bathing space has a metal soaking tub embedded into the ground and surrounded by river stones – straight up making you feel like you are bathing in a river bed. When you look up from the tub, there’s an open view of the sky above from a circular window.

The smartphone-controlled SCARA robotic printer used in this project is lightweight enough that only two people are needed to operate it. Casa Covida may be an experimental prototype for now, but Rael points out that the goal here is to ask vital questions about the limits of advanced technology and materials, and the possibilities of reviving ancient techniques and materials in a modern context, “In some ways, for me at least, this is a return to a particular origin and we’re taking the most primitive materials and combining them with the most sophisticated technology. But I actually see that in reverse: I see that mankind has been developing the use of mud for 10,000 years — it’s actually our most sophisticated material. And the way it works thermally, and the way it performs, and the way that it works environmentally is extremely sophisticated. The robotic arm is a crotchety, weird thing that’s always breaking down — that’s only existed for two years. It’s the least sophisticated technology we have for making a building. So the way I look at it is that we’re returning to a higher level of construction system by simplifying.” Reverse engineering the use of sustainable materials!

Designer: Emerging Objects

3D Printed Architecture that show why this trend is the future of modern architecture!

Nowadays almost everything is being 3D printed, so why should architecture be an exception? Many architectural firms are adopting 3D printing as their preferred technique to build structures. It’s a simple, efficient, and innovative technique that lowers the risks of errors, and also manages to save on time! 3D printing eradicates a lot of tedious steps during the construction process and simplifies it. It is being used to build homes, habitats on Mars, and even coral reef islands! The potential and possibilities of 3D printing in architecture are endless and mindblowing. We’ve curated a collection of 3D-printed structures that left us mesmerized – from a sustainable global habitat to a house fit for Mars, we’ve got a little something for all types of arch lovers!

TECLA  is a completely 3D printed global habitat based on natural materials. TECLA’s construction started as a prototype in 2019 near Bologna, Italy as a response to pressing societal issues of explosive population growth which inevitably led to a lack of affordable accommodation. TECLA is created using entirely reusable, recyclable materials taken from the local terrain – it aims to be a model for circular housing as well as eco-housing. The habitat has been designed by Mario Cucinella Architects and brought to life by WASP’s engineering and printing tech. TECLA is set to be the first house to be entirely 3D-printed using locally sourced clay which has been used for centuries in countries like India as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to cement – clay is a biodegradable and recyclable material that will make the building a zero-waste structure.

What would you print with free access to a 3D printer and resources? My imagination is running wild between custom accessories and a tiny house! Architecture firm, MEAN* (Middle East Architecture Network), did just that and designed a complete 3D printed pavilion to welcome visitors from all over the world into the mystical desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan. Fun fact about Wadi Rum – it looks so much like the Martian landscape that it has served as a stage for multiple space movies, even for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, a cult classic! The Desert Pavilion was created to be a communal oasis of heritage and micro-ecology. When you look at the renders, the structure is a blend of local Bedouin architecture with space-age technology. The design team has envisioned an innovative use of 3D printed panels by deploying them onto a CNC bent steel pipe system. To simulate a holistic tent-like structure, the team used a hybrid of 3D printed polymer shells on 3D printed concrete topography with the ‘Mesh Relaxation’ parametric strategy.

Prvok is the name of this project and it will be the first 3D printed house in the Czech Republic built by Michal Trpak, a sculptor, and Stavebni Sporitelna Ceske Sporitelny who is a notable member of the Erste building society. The house is designed to float and only takes 48 hours to build! Not only is that seven times faster than traditional houses, but it also reduces construction costs by 50%. No bricks, cement, and concrete (responsible for 8% of CO2 emissions alone!) are used which means it reduces carbon emissions by 20% – imagines how much CO2 could be reduced if this was used to build a colony. A robotic arm called Scoolpt designed by Jiri Vele, an architect, and programmer will be used in 3D printing and can print as fast as 15 cm per second.

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Nonprofit New Story, tech company ICON, and design studio fuseproject collaborated to bring an end to global homelessness…or to at least kickstart the beginning of its end. How did they do so? They recently unveiled the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood in Tabasco, Southern Mexico. Yves Béhar and his studio fuseproject designed the homes by directly collaborating and working with the families they were being built for. “As we spoke to the community members, we realized that a single house design doesn’t respond to the needs and expectations,” said Béhar. “This led us to design a system that allows for different programs, climate factors, and growth for families and spaces.” The community members were included in the selection of the land and throughout the planning process, to ensure their housing requirements were met. The end result will be a lively 3D-printed neighborhood of fifty 500-square-foot, single-story houses for the poorest communities who are always the last to benefit from innovation and technology.

Bjarke Ingle’s BIG and 3D-printed building company ICON are working on Project Olympus – a mission to develop robotic construction for the moon. Bjarke Ingles is the Elon Musk of the architectural world, he loves to explore the impossible and has a penchant for designs that can help save mankind right from his environmentally friendly buildings to Project Olympus. Project Olympus is about finding a way to create a 3D-printed infrastructure for living on the moon using materials found on its surface. Why do we need a habitat on the moon? So that we can launch sustained lunar exploration missions where the astronauts will be able to stay comfortably and carry out their research for extended time periods. The project has also enlisted SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) after it received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) government contract boosted with funding from NASA.

BiodiverCity is one of Bjarke Ingels’ most recent projects, it is a city of three islands connected by autonomous vehicles for land, water, and air to make this a transport emission-free habitat off the coast of Malaysia. Three islands will be built in Penang and will serve as cultural, business, and residential hubs. The most striking thing about the development is that all the transportation on the 4,500 acres will consist of autonomous boats, vehicles, and air travel, making the islands car-free and pedestrian-friendly. Construction is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, in fact, even more than the aviation industry. So to reduce the impact on the environment, most buildings will be prefabricated or 3D printed on-site and others will use a combination of bamboo, Malaysian timber, and “green concrete” which is made from recycled materials like aggregate.

In an attempt to deal with Texas’ extreme weather, ICON and 3Strands paired up and built four 3D printed houses in Austin. They’ve been created from ICON’s special cement-based material Lavacrete, which is from Portland. The material is prone to extreme weather conditions and is also resistant to mold. The 3D technology used by ICON is proven to build safer and disaster-resilient homes. The homes are able to withstand floods, wind, fire, and other natural disasters more successfully, in comparison to ordinary homes. The four homes expand from a one-bedroom to a four-bedroom, and also include parking, front porches, and gardens! They are spacious living spaces that will protect the residents from the harsh storms of Texas!

Kamp C claims to have built the first 3D printed house in one piece in Westerlo, Belgium. The house was printed from the largest 3D concrete printer in Europe. Comprising of two floors, it was built on-site! It is eight meters tall with a 90-square-meters floor area and was assembled pretty swiftly. The 3D printed house is a low-energy one and features floor and ceiling heating, a heat pump, and special solar panels. They’re even planning to add a green roof!

NASA Mars 3D Habitat Challenge Finalists

Titled the Mars X House, its design is optimized for the pressure requirements of Mars and comes made with an inner layer of HDPE, followed by an outer covering of concrete and basalt fiber, which is finally reinforced on the outside with vertically spiraling ridges. The house is split into three zones, with their own dedicated emergency exits (the outer spiral staircase), and right at the top is a water reservoir that applies downward pressure on the building, which when combined with the building’s shape, prevents it from exploding due to the pressure imbalance from the inside to the outside.

Designed as a series of modular islands that can transform any waterfront into a public space, Reeform aims at supporting life on land as well as underwater. A portmanteau of the words Reef and Form, the floating island comes with a two-part design. The upper half is designed as a hexagonal floating platform crafted entirely from recycled plastic, while the lower half bio-mimics the design of corals, using 3D printed concrete and calcite. As a result, both the upper and lower halves act as areas of interest for humans and marine life alike. Humans can use the modular platforms to create social spaces on water bodies like riverfronts, lakes, or pools, while the coral-inspired lower half helps reduce ocean acidification as well as promote the growth of live corals which in turn creates its own marine ecosystem, attracting fish and other underwater animals. It’s a win-win!

New 3D printing technique could make lab-grown organs more practical

As much as 3D-printed organs have advanced, creating them is still a slow process that can damage the tissue. There may soon be a quicker and more effective method, however. Researchers from the University at Buffalo and elsewhere have developed a 3D...

3D Printed Scary Hands Reaching Out of Wall: No Touching!

Because some people’s idea of interior design is the Addams Family mansion, these are the Scary Reaching Wall Hands 3D printed and sold by Etsy shop 3DDeluxeStore. Available in black and white in four different styles, they’ll make the perfect coat racks at your next Halloween party. Granted I won’t need to use the coat rack because I’ll be wearing a superhero cape.

The hands cost $10 – $22 depending on the style chosen (ranging in size from a toddler-sized hand to one that’s larger than most adult hands), or you can get a set of all four for $65. Will I rip all the towel bars out of the walls in my bathroom and replace them with these? No, this is a rental property and I’d like to get my full security deposit back.

I am tempted to buy one, that way the next time my wife asks me to lend a hand with something around the house I can tell her it’s fine if she just borrows the one on the wall. I’ll have a good laugh about it, but that laugh will cost me my place in bed that night.

Death Star Inspired 3D Printed Planters: That’s No Moon

3D printed to resemble the Death Star II still under construction, Etsy shop StoryBrookBoutique is selling these Star Wars-inspired plastic planters. Available in 5 and 6-inch varieties ($16 and $24, respectively), one of these is going to look great on the window sill in front of my kitchen sink.

I like how the planter top isn’t perfectly circular, like the actual Death Star II while it’s being built. I think I’ll put a trailing plant in there and let it spill out over the edge and onto the window sill below. There’s no doubt in my mind it’s going to look great for about a month until the plant dies like so many did on Alderaan.

The mobile space station planters are available in traditional silver, or, my personal favorite – pink, which I can only assume is the color the Galactic Empire had in mind for its Death Stars before realizing how much all that paint was going to cost. Honestly, If I were Palpatine I would have done it anyway.

[via DudeIWantThat]

Your Amazon Echo Dot transforms into a Mandalorian Helmet with this 3D printed stand!

Smart Speakers are seldom designed to be trophy elements. With their unassuming design and fabric clad, they’re BUILT to blend into your home decor, being useful only when wanted. This 3D printed stand, on the other hand, turns your smart speaker into a pop-culture collectible worth showing off!

Say hello to the Mandalorian smart speaker holder for the 4th Generation Amazon Echo Dot. Inspired by the Star Wars spin-off series, the smart-speaker holder comes 3D printed by Etsy shop Slic3DArt, quite perfectly resembling the Mandalorian helmet. Place your spherical Amazon Echo Dot within its head cavity and you’ve officially got yourself a trophy-head worth showcasing on your mantelpiece or coffee table!

The purpose of the Mandalorian smart-speaker holder is purely aesthetic. It doesn’t enhance the speaker’s functions but doesn’t impair them either (it does, however, block the light ring at the base). I just wish Alexa came with a Mandalorian voice option!

Designer: Slic3DArt

YD Also Recommends: The Baby Yoda Smart Speaker Holder for your 3rd Gen Amazon Echo Dot!

A Mandalorian Helmet Amazon Echo Dot Speaker Holder: I Have Spoken

Looking for something to spruce up your otherwise boring 4th-generation Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker with a little Star Wars flair? How about this 3-D printed Mandalorian helmet holder made and sold by Etsy shop Slic3DArt? Obviously, it will go perfect with the Baby Yoda 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot holder you already own. Just think of all the fun they’ll have talking to each other.

The Mandalorian mask is a single 3D printed piece and costs $29. The only thing that would make it better is if there was a Mandalorian voice option for Amazon Echo Dots. Now that’s something I’d be willing to part with my Galactic credits for.

I used to own a smart speaker, but I got rid of it after getting paranoid that it was listening all the time. Plus whenever my wife and I would ask it a question to settle an argument it would always side with her. “The truth” she likes to call it.

[via GeeksAreSexy]

A 3D printed global housing community is being constructed in Italy for sustainable living!

Sustainable designs are now taking center stage in the design world as we battle the climate crisis affecting several industries. To implement sustainability in architecture is trickier given the scale of design but if we find the right solutions, the impact will also be big enough to cause ripples of positive changes. Fun fact: it is not the aviation industry but actually the construction industry that contributes to the global greenhouse gas emissions and the difference is 2% vs 39%. In fact, cement alone is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions which is why the need for more sustainably constructed housing arose. Mario Cucinella Architects and WASP decided to do something about it and designed TECLA – a completely 3D printed global habitat based on natural materials.

TECLA’s construction started as a prototype in 2019 near Bologna, Italy as a response to pressing societal issues of explosive population growth which inevitably led to a lack of affordable accommodation. TECLA is created using entirely reusable, recyclable materials taken from the local terrain – it aims to be a model for circular housing as well as eco-housing. The habitat has been designed by Mario Cucinella Architects and brought to life by WASP’s engineering and printing tech. TECLA is set to be the first house to be entirely 3D-printed using locally sourced clay which has been used for centuries in countries like India as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to cement – clay is a biodegradable and recyclable material that will make the building a zero-waste structure. The project’s name comes from an imaginary city described by writer Italo Calvino, it will be built using multiple collaborative 3D-printers all working at the same time – a feat in itself given the scale.

The housing is designed and built to adapt to multiple environments as well as be suitable for self-production using WASP’s ‘maker economy starter kit’. This reduces industrial waste and boosts national + local economies using a sustainable model that involves the residents which will strengthen the community along with the environment’s health. It was all developed using extensive research undertaken by the SOS (School Of Sustainability), an institution founded by Mario Cucinella himself. This valuable research explored the cause and effects of homelessness based on case studies in locations with different climates. As a result, the two firms designed a resilient housing community for any climate while being energy-efficient, unlike traditional housing and construction models. TECLA is also being looked at as a case study that can become the basis for off-the-grid autonomous eco-cities – the future is here!

Designers: Mario Cucinella Architects and WASP