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THE HAGUE: The southern Dutch city of Eindhoven plans to unveil the world’s first 3D-printed housing complex next year, which its inventors believe could revolutionise the building industry by speeding up and customising construction.

Printed in concrete by a robotic arm, the project backed by the city council, Eindhoven Technical University and several construction companies aims to see its first three-bedroom home go up by June next year.

Known as Project Milestone, a housing complex of five homes of various shapes and sizes will be built over the next three to five years, financed by private investors, said Rudy van Gurp, one of the project’s managers.

“This is just the beginning. It’s revolutionary technology and a new way of building that will develop over time,” he told AFP on Thursday.

One of the great advantages of 3D-printing is that the pod-like homes can be completely customised — and even built around natural objects, said Van Gurp.

Apart from speeding up the building process — from months to weeks — 3D-printing also solves another pressing issue: the scarcity of skilled artisans in the Netherlands, which drives up prices.

“In a few years we will not have enough craftsmen like masons for example.

By introducing robotisation into the construction industry we can make homes more affordable in the future,” said Van Gurp.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018

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