A house that can withstand earthquakes was 3D printed in a mere 26 hours.


Guatemala’s first 3D-printed building has been successfully completed by cement company Progreso. The innovative prototype dwelling was specifically designed to withstand frequent seismic activity in the region. Progreso incorporated traditional local craftsmanship into the construction, featuring a thatched roof. The company used COBOD’s BOD2 printer, the same printer used for the post office in India and Europe’s first two-story 3D-printed house.

The build process for the house was similar to previous projects with the use of the 3D printer to layer a cement-like mixture following a pre-planned blueprint. The printing process took 26 hours but was spread over seven days. Human builders then added windows, wiring, plumbing, and other necessary components to complete the structure. The traditional palm thatched roof was also installed, further enhancing the local craftsmanship. Wooden slats were installed to promote natural ventilation.

A representative from COBOD stated that special attention was given to ensuring the structure’s resilience in the face of a severe earthquake. The use of 3D printing allowed for highly organic-shaped walls that would have otherwise been costly or impractical to construct with traditional concrete blocks, the predominant building material in the region. The lightweight and flexible palm leaves used for the roof, known as the ‘Rancho’ type, are suitable for seismic areas and provide thermal comfort.

The 49 sq m (527 sq ft) house is spread over one floor and features a simple interior layout. The 3D-printed concrete walls remain uncovered, emphasizing its prototype status. The house includes a central living room furnished with a table and chairs, a small kitchen area with cabinetry and a sink, and an additional room that can be used as an office or bedroom. The bathroom is located elsewhere within the structure.

The COBOD representative emphasized that the project was undertaken as a research tool, and there are currently no plans to replicate it on a larger scale. This groundbreaking achievement by Progreso and COBOD showcases the potential of 3D printing in the construction industry, particularly in areas prone to seismic activity. It highlights the fusion of modern technology with local craftsmanship to create structurally sound and cost-effective dwellings.

Original source


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