An Architect Is 3-D Printing This Enormous Estate Out of Dust, Sand and Gravel

Source: D-Shape
Source: D-Shape

A quiet plot of land in upstate New York could soon be home to one of the most futuristic houses to date: a 3-D printed, 2,400-square-foot house with a swimming pool, jacuzzi and garage, made mostly out of sand.

New York-based architect Adam Kushner collaborated with Italian 3-D printing innovator Enrico Dini to design the enormous estate and have it constructed with a massive 3-D printer. According to CNN, the printer is stuck in Italy, waiting for military clearance before it can be shipped to the United States.

The massive 3-D printer.
Source: 
D-Shape

According to the D-Shape website, they'll use a binding process to print the pieces of the building, turning the raw materials — dust, sand and gravel — to a compact state with the 3-D printer. When that happens, the construction materials will become similar to marble.

If building a giant house of marble sounds like the purview of an eccentric oil baron, the company behind the design, D-Shape, claims its process will cost half the price of using cement. The building will allegedly come together four times as quickly, too.

Rendering of the 3-D-printed estate.
Source: 
D-Shape

3-D printed structures could provide essential housing for those in need. Kushner insists his building method could be used to help in underfunded public projects. 

"If we can build a simple pool house, I can print thousands of refugee housings," Kushner told CNN. "If I can build a pool, I can print underwater reefs ... to repair bridges, piers and infrastructures."

A rendering of the 3-D-printed pool house.
Source: 
D-Shape

Since the D-Shape printer can print anything in a 6-by-6-meter cube, it could be used to print bus stop benches and fountains, aquariums, restoration parts for old bridges and columns and entire two-story buildings — at least in pieces. And if it can be done faster and cheaper, imagine the potential for building an entire city — parks, roads, shelters, homes.

But first, Kushner and Dini are starting with one New York estate, an impossibly cool-looking example of the bright future of cheap architecture. 

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Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

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