The Shapeways Blog: 3D Printing News & Innovation

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3D printing buildings: interview with Enrico Dini of D_Shape


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I want to do this. When will shapeways have access to this 3D printer ? ;-)

#1 T. Shawn Johnson on 2009-04-22 20:48 (Reply)
As soon as we can figure out how to put a house in one of those brown UPS vans.
#1.1 Joris on 2009-04-22 20:49 (Reply)
Well, maybe you can add a "made at home" service in that you bring the printer packed in a truck to someone's unbuilt lot, press the start button, and when done, relocate to the next customer. Would take three days to print and move to the next customer.

Would you also charge per cm²? :-D
#1.1.1 Strijker on 2009-04-23 20:50 (Reply)
Of course, and as always shipping would be included in our prices.
# Joris on 2009-04-23 22:12 (Reply)
Terribly exciting. Kudos all around. This could very well be the future of home building. Looking forward to it.
#2 Shelley Noble on 2009-04-23 09:55 (Reply)
Very interesting. I'm wondering about the resolution of the print and about the strength of the material.
#3 Michal Piasecki (Homepage) on 2009-04-23 13:13 (Reply)

The resolution is 25 DPI at the moment, so this is less than we have for our materials to give you an indication. The material should be as strong as reinforced concrete.
#3.1 Joris on 2009-04-23 22:15 (Reply)
This is incredible. As an architectural student and long-time devotee of Gaudi, I find this to be one of the single biggest things to happen in the last couple of years. Crap, now I'm going to have "blank-canvas syndrome" whilst I try to think of the illimitable ways in which this could be used....Cheers!
#4 Anonymous on 2009-05-07 15:48 (Reply)
Wow, it\'s always great to see civil engineers with artistic capabilities. This creativity should be brought to San Francisco and Oakland!
#4.1 Brenda (Homepage) on 2010-06-23 22:48 (Reply)
It would be impossible for this to be as strong as reinforced concrete. Main reason? It is not reinforced.

Also, every 3d print I have ever held in my hands is as easily pulverized as being sneezed upon. Sediment is not strong.

I do look forward to seeing further development of something useful with these technologies down the road. A non-directional fiber could act as reinforcement. Architects are playing with this idea. Of course, the idea of 3d printing with concrete is also being pioneered by an engineer at USC.
#5 Eric on 2009-05-19 07:46 (Reply)

I haven't got my hands on the stuff yet so I can not verify nor have I tested it. But, it is what Mr. Dini told me. I'll see if I can get samples and test them. The trick would seem to be in the binding material.

"as easily pulverized as being sneezed upon" does depend on the material. There are several relatively weak materials out there but materials such as White, Strong & Flexible(SLS PA2200) are quite strong

Several materials we use have Shore values of C & D which is quite hard for a thermoplastic.

The metal 3D prints we have are very strong

Depending on the process I've seen Rockwell values HRc 21 and higher.

I've spent quite some time trying to wreck a small titanium ball by jumping on it and have not been successful, to give you an idea.
#5.1 Joris on 2009-05-19 08:30 (Reply)
Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineer and professor at USC has been working for years on his similar-but-different "Contour Crafting" method aiming to print full-scale buildings in concrete. It too is real stuff and there are full-scale samples He's now partnered with Caterpillar and some other big guys to get it rolling.
#6 Brian on 2009-05-20 22:13 (Reply)

Yes, we've heard of that also and did a post about that in September:,-Shapeways-style.html

Exciting stuff!
#6.1 Joris on 2009-05-21 08:41 (Reply)
Similar research is also happening at the RMRG (Rapid Manufacturing Research Group) at Loughborough University...

All very Fascinating..!
#7 Tomi (Homepage) on 2009-05-21 10:17 (Reply)
Hi again,

In reference to my earlier comment, the included link has some images of the 'Wonderwall' project...


#7.1 Tomi (Homepage) on 2009-05-21 10:22 (Reply)
Wow, this is great. 3D printing is something i have been following for some time now, truly fascinating. Great work Enrico.
#8 Leaflet Printing (Homepage) on 2010-07-12 09:39 (Reply)
What is the environmental impact of this "inorganic binding ink"
#9 Anonymous on 2011-01-22 19:52 (Reply)

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