The Rise of 3D Printed Houses: Changing The Future of Housing

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One of the most revolutionary developments in the ever-evolving world of technology and innovation is the emergence of 3D printed houses. Not only is this amazing technology changing the way we design and build homes, but it’s also providing answers to some of the most important problems the housing industry is now experiencing, like efficiency, affordability, and sustainability

3D printed homes are constructed via additive manufacturing, where materials are printed layer by layer. These houses are made by utilising modelling software to create a blueprint, which is then materialised into reality using a 3D printer to build the house one layer at a time. Although the printed structure serves as the framework, more building is needed to incorporate windows, doors, and other utilities like electrical and water wiring, which represents a revolutionary step. It might be difficult to picture how a 3D printer can print a house, so that’s why we’ve put together this article to explain everything there is to know about the process, including the benefits and challenges that this technology presents. 

What Is 3D Printing?

a 3D printer

3D printing is a transformative technology that refers to the technique of using a digital file to create three-dimensional objects. It entails applying material in stages until the desired shape is achieved. Every layer is a horizontal cross-section of the final product that has been finely cut. The technology has evolved significantly since its inception, leading to its application across various industries. Here’s a closer look at how 3D printing is used:

  • Manufacturing and Engineering: 3D printing is mostly used for fast prototyping, which speeds up the development process by enabling quick design model revisions. It is also advancing industrial manufacturing, where its capacity to design intricate geometries gives it a competitive edge.
  • Healthcare: The accuracy of the technology makes it possible to produce precise 3D medical models and custom-fit prostheses, which is revolutionising surgery planning and patient care. This element of personalisation is essential for delivering efficient care and enhancing results.
  • Construction: 3D printing has the ability to alleviate global housing concerns, as demonstrated by its use in building disaster relief shelters and inexpensive homes. It provides solutions that are not only affordable but also sustainable by utilising materials like concrete in novel ways, signalling a substantial change towards ideals of living for the future.

How Do You 3D Print a House?

The technology behind 3D printed homes revolutionises the construction process with its efficiency and innovation. The core steps involved in creating these futuristic homes include:

  1. Design and Blueprint Creation: First, a thorough computer-aided design (CAD) drawing that specifies the layout, size, and construction of the house is created for the project.
  2. Material Planning and Preparation: The main material is prepared for printing; this is typically a variant of mortar or concrete. Then, using a large-scale construction printer, this material is extruded layer by layer to create the home’s foundation, walls, and footing.
  3. Post-Printing Construction: After the printing process, additional installations such as windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical wiring are integrated to complete the building structure.

The video below gives a great example of how concrete 3D printed houses are constructed: 

Benefits of 3D Printed Houses

With plenty of concerns around modern housing, 3D printed homes offer a forward-thinking strategy that tackles some of the issues around sustainable and affordable living with innovative solutions. From the use of recyclable materials to design versatility, there are a variety of reasons why 3D printed houses are a viable option for future living. Some of the key benefits of 3D printed homes are listed below: 

  • Speed and Cost-Effectiveness:
    • Construction time can be significantly reduced, with a small 3D printed home capable of being built in less than 24 hours.
    • The average cost ranges from €130,000 to €150,000, including essential installations like plumbing and electrical systems, which is considerably lower than traditional construction methods. Some houses have been built for as little as €3,750.
    • Labour costs are minimised as the process requires only 2-3 people to maintain the printer.
  • Sustainability & Energy Efficiency:
    • Less material usage results in lower CO2 emissions and building waste.
    • Sustainable materials can be integrated, making 3D printed homes an eco-friendlier option.
    • Optimised wall compositions result in enhanced insulation, which reduces energy use and utility costs.
  • Design Flexibility and Structural Integrity:
    • Gives architects greater creative flexibility by enabling the creation of intricate forms and patterns that are challenging to implement in traditional construction.
    • Automated procedures guarantee structural integrity and uniform quality, providing long-lasting living areas that can tolerate a range of weather conditions.

Challenges and Limitations of 3D Printed Homes

Despite the transformative potential of 3D printed houses in the construction industry, several challenges and limitations exist that need addressing:

Technical and Material Limitations

The variety of materials that may be used in 3D printing is restricted since the materials must fulfil certain requirements for printability, buildability, and structural integrity, limiting the choice for designers. What’s more, the necessity of a controlled environment can conflict with the natural open-air nature of construction sites, which can complicate the logistics of using a 3D printer on-site. The possibility of adverse weather conditions can add to this concern, as the printing process can be significantly impacted by certain weather, which can then increase completion times. 

Workforce Concerns

The development and use of 3D printing building technology are hampered by a notable shortage of engineers and personnel with the necessary skills to use 3D printers. To combat this, proper training on how to use these machines must be conducted to speed up the widespread adoption of 3D printed homes. Another concern is that the automation of construction jobs through 3D printing could cause job displacement

Real-World Examples of 3D Printed Houses


A ground-breaking project from the Advanced Structures and Composites Centre at the University of Maine, BioHome3D is noteworthy for being the first 3D-printed home in history to be constructed completely of bio-based materials. This 600-square-foot prototype uses bio-resins and wood fibres, and because 3D printing is so precise, almost little waste is created during creation. 

The home’s design prioritises sustainability; it has 100% wood insulation and entirely recyclable materials, enabling the customisation of thermal resistance levels. A noteworthy accomplishment of BioHome3D is its ability to function well in challenging conditions. During a year of outdoor testing in Maine, it endured temperatures ranging from -17°C to 40°C, severe windstorms, and snowstorms with success. This illustrates the longevity and structural integrity of the prototype. 

Serendix’s Disaster Response 3D Printed Houses

A Japanese business called Serendix created a sphere-shaped house in under 24 hours for a cost of less than €24,000. This quick-building technique significantly reduces energy consumption, material waste, and CO2 emissions. The houses are made to be resilient and robust using reinforced concrete construction. This is because the company’s objective is to offer emergency housing in times of crisis, with earthquakes and typhoons regularly affecting the country. The house took just 3 hours to assemble all the 3D printed parts, whilst the final result was constructed in a total of just 23 hours and 12 minutes. 

Are 3D Printed Homes the Future of Housing?

The future of housing is on the cusp of a revolution, with 3D printed houses at the forefront, promising a blend of efficiency, sustainability, and innovation. The 3D-printed houses market is set to soar from $36.82 Million in 2022 to $1055.1 Million by 2030, with a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 61.5%. This dramatic increase is driven by the issues concerned with the housing market, as affordable and more sustainable solutions become more available. 

It’s also driven by ambitious projects like that of Dubai, which plans to have a quarter of all new buildings 3D printed by 2030, highlighting a commitment to sustainable urban development. This trajectory not only underscores the transformative impact of 3D printing on the housing sector but also highlights the broader implications for sustainable living and innovative construction practices worldwide.


The advent of 3D printed houses provides a promising step towards resolving the global housing crisis, combining the ideas of affordability, sustainability, and technological innovation in building. By harnessing the power of 3D printing, we step closer to overcoming the challenges of traditional construction methods, offering faster, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly housing solutions. 

The journey of 3D printed houses, from concept to reality, underlines a crucial chapter in our quest for sustainable development and represents a beacon of hope for future generations. In embracing these revolutionary practices, we edge closer to a future where everyone has a place to call home, demonstrating the profound impact of 3D printing technology on society at large.


How will 3D printing transform the future?

With its faster, more diversified, and completely integrated production processes, 3D printing holds a promising future. This technology is set to revolutionise the way products are made, offering a pathway towards a more resilient and sustainable manufacturing landscape by focusing on quality, security, and environmental responsibility.

Is it cheaper to build a 3D house?

Depending on a number of variables, such as the project’s size, the technology being utilised, and regional building codes, building a house with 3D printing may be less expensive than using traditional building techniques.

What are the advantages of constructing a house with 3D printing?

The construction of houses using 3D printing technology offers several benefits, including a decrease in waste, labour, and material expenses. Compared to traditional building methods, this approach uses less materials since it puts resources precisely where needed, reducing waste.

Are 3D houses safe?

Structures made with a plastic or concrete combination and printed by 3D printers are just as durable as conventional houses. Concrete homes are renowned for their durability, with many standing for decades or even millennia.

How long will a 3D printed house last?

 It is difficult to predict with precision how long a 3D home would endure because the technology is still in its infancy. According to Cobod, resilience testing indicates that a well-balanced, 3D printed concrete building should last between 50 and 300 years.

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