Frequently asked questions

Algemeen

  • 1. What is the Milestone Project about?

    It concerns the world’s first 3D-printed houses that are fit for habitation. These are buildings with an unusual design, which are created using a new production process, meet all statutory building requirements and offer all the comfort that today’s homeowners expect.


  • 2. Who are the participants in the Milestone Project? What are their respective roles?

    Vesteda will buy the homes. Other participants in the Milestone Project are parties that are also part of the research consortium of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). For this project, the participants are TU/e, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, Witteveen+Bos and Van Wijnen. The local authority participates in the project by making the land available and offering procedural support to facilitate the creation of this innovative product.


  • 3. Is the Milestone Project unique (in the world)?

    Yes, it concerns the world’s first printed concrete houses fit for habitation, which means they fulfil the criteria of the Dutch building code (Bouwbesluit).


  • 4. Are there any similar projects and what are the differences?

    The projects taking place in Europe are all demonstration cases that don’t result in houses fit for habitation. Chinese company Winstar has built a number of large projects using 3D printing in which 3D printing technology was used to produce prefabricated elements. When you look at the finished buildings, there is no way to tell they were created using 3D printing. The 3D Printed Canal House project in Amsterdam that was announced a few years ago has not resulted in a building fit for habitation.


  • 5. For what/who is Project Milestone important?

    The building industry and society. It is a way of giving substance to corporate social responsibility. The entire process, from development to construction, is digitized, which offers a number of advantages – everything is recorded, no knowledge is lost, it optimizes the use of materials, helps to improve working conditions etc. The local authority hopes that using this new technology will create more affordable, sustainable and demand-oriented housing.


  • 6. What is the project schedule like and when will the first 3DCP home be completed?

    The design is being prepared for the All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (Omgevingsvergunning) and will be ready by approx. Q3 2018. The first home is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.


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Financiën

Techniek: 3D (beton) printen

  • 1. Who will perform the printing?

    By a partnership of TU/e, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix and Van Wijnen.


  • 2. How does 3D concrete printing actually work?

    The concrete, with a composition specially developed for this purpose, is deposited in the required place by a robot, without the need for formwork or steel fixers. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tu+eindhoven+%2B+concrete+printing


  • 3. What are the advantages of 3D concrete printing?

    Production rate/lead time of construction can become much shorter as automation progresses. Democratisation of the manufacturing industry. The immense freedom of form will promote creativity and client/user participation (mass customisation/tailor-made industrial solutions); any changes that are required can be implemented simply by pushing a few buttons. Leads to co-creation with the end user, who will take on a far more central role. Sustainability: smaller raw material footprint (no formwork needed). 7% of global CO2 emissions originate from the concrete industry. Sustainability gains are possible. The printer uses no more concrete than is needed for the project and applies it extremely accurately, thereby reducing the amount of residue. The digital process reduces the failure costs enormously.


  • 4. What are the disadvantages of 3D concrete printing?

    The technology is still under development, which means each project involves a learning curve. The more projects take place, the more lessons can be drawn. Because the technology is still under development, there will be a degree of unpredictability in terms of scheduling and results. For that reason, the right parties need to be involved from the outset. The specialists in this project are TU/e, Witteveen+Bos, Van Wijnen and Weber – parties that will ensure the rapid development of the technology.


  • 5. What is the production process of the homes like?

    The elements are prefabricated in the printing facility and joined together on the building site. From the first home to the fifth, the prefabrication process will be taken further in stages, with the ambition of printing the final home entirely on-site.


  • 6. Why would this be a game changer for the building industry?

    The rate of production could be increased enormously, which would allow construction costs (i.e. labour costs) to come down. It will replace part of the physically demanding work done by builders. It reduces failure costs thanks to digital engineering & construction. It will enable new partnerships between chain partners. Printing will allow more design freedom because no formwork is needed.


Voorgeschiedenis

  • 1. How and when did this project come about?

    The project was initiated by a consortium. During the 2016 Dutch Design Week, the municipality of Eindhoven and TU/e signed a declaration of intent aimed at building the first-ever 3D concrete printed home in Eindhoven.


  • 2. Why the long lead time? What happened in the past year?

    During the 2016 Dutch Design Week, a public statement was made about the intention to build the first-ever 3D-printed home in Eindhoven. After that, more work and engineering took place to enable the ambition of actually creating a printed home fit for habitation, in accordance with applicable statutory requirements and meeting the needs of the end user. A consortium was established that wanted to invest in the project. We found a site and an architect, and a design was created. We are now ready to start building.


Wonen in Milestone - Bosrijk