DFAB House, the house built by robots and 3D printers

A group of researchers in Switzerland has created the world's first three-story apartment building entirely designed and built using 3D printing robots

The DFAB HOUSE is a three-story housing complex. So far, so good, except that it's the world's first building designed and built using only robots and 3D printers. The building is the brainchild of Switzerland's National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) as part of its Digital Fabrication research.

The robots are used to construct the building's walls while 3D printers are used to make the ceiling tiles. This project demonstrates the giant strides that digital fabrication has made in the field of construction and architecture. At the moment the DFAB HOUSE is still an experiment and not surprisingly will be built inside the NCCR in Dübendorf, Switzerland. But soon buildings made with the new technologies will be very common, especially in big cities. Homes built entirely through digital processes, according to the study, are stronger, cheaper and more environmentally sustainable than current buildings.

Homes designed with 3D printing

The individual building components were designed and then made by several 3D printers. And the designs were made following the guidelines of several smart sensors that took into account the floor where the house would be built, its exposure to the sun and a lot of other useful information to make the construction more efficient. Starting in the summer of 2018, the DFAB HOUSE will be used as a home by NCCR researchers who only move into the lab for temporary periods. The building in total is 200 square meters.

Digital Fabrication Technologies

To complete the prototype of the first fully digitally developed house, the Swiss researchers used several technologies designed for construction. For example, thanks to the Mesh Mould, it was possible to use robots to build a double-curved concrete wall that forms the architecture of the open space on the ground floor. The Smart Slab, on the other hand, is an intelligent ceiling slab. And it is made entirely with 3D printers. Dynamic Casting Smart technology is used for the external facades, and for their plastering and painting. And it is implemented by robots.