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/ January 30, 2013
Damn Future, You Cray: Constructing an Entire Building Using 3D Printing

“Make your dreams into a reality” – Every elementary school teacher ever.

We’ve all probably heard this at some point in our kiddie lives. This is totally  a whimsical and unrealistic piece of motivational jargon to live by…until modern innovation made it possible! Enter: 3D printing. If you’re interested in tech news or are majoring in something techy, this is probably old news or technology you may be familiar with. My Google Reader has been plump with 3D printing news in the past few months. If you haven’t heard of 3D printing yet, brace yourself. 2012 was a year where the new technology took off, but 2013 will be where it explodes.

For those not in the know, 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. The first 3D printing first emerged in the 1980s, but was incredibly expensive and limited with its functionality. Today, a smorgasbord of 3D printing technologies exists — particularly cool are personal 3D printers such as Makerbot —  but there is one common thread between all of them: each object created by a 3D printer is built layer by layer until completion. Think of it like a super intricate cake. Yum.

A Dutch architecture studio decided to “bake a cake” fit for a wedding of the gods. Universe Architecture has planned to construct a 3D printed building for the first time. Seriously… a full building with walls and stairs windows and all. It’s definitely not the size of a center for ants. People can indeed fit inside the building. But there will be no workers in hardhats or bricks and mortar. This building will be digitized into the physical realm by a massive 3D printer over the course of the next 18 months.

This brainchild of architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars goes by the name of ‘Landscape House.’ Its unique shape is what he describes as an endless Mobius band. M.C. Escher would be undeniably be proud. Along with some concrete reinforcements, the ‘Landscape House’ is assembled using the D-Shape printer that was developed by Enrico Dini. It uses a combo of ground-up rock and sand that is fed into the printer. Then, it’s hardened up by adding a binding agent. The design has no beginning and no end, and only with a 3D printer could something this ethereal and large scale become a physical object.

People have been doing some unimaginable and eyebrow raising things since the 3D printing revolution has picked up steam. The same type of technology creates art, chocolates,  jewelry, furniture, prosthetic limbs, sex toys, and even human organs. Who knows what’s next? Creating food for starving nations out of biological material? Subway lines? A date for Valentine’s day that isn’t your hand or a Craiglist personal? Other 3D printers??? (meta-printing!). It seems like almost anything can be possible.

Uh… The Rock and Roll 3D-printed sex toy by Makerlove

Damn future, you crazy.

Believe in your dreams, kids. We proved the Mayans wrong, after all. Stay tuned for more news about modern innovation that might be under the radar.

[Image via via]