The true usefulness of 3D printing frequently comes under fire. Often, people will trot out a few replacement parts for home appliances they've printed as an example of the 3D printer's necessity. This group is determined to show something much bigger for its effort.
The simple goal here is to print a house. The concept of 3D-printing a house isn't incredibly new, but until now we haven't seen anyone actually doing it! The 3D-printed Canal House project aims to print sections that fit together like a puzzle to create an entire house. You can pick and choose each room to customize your house fully, then send it to the printer. After individual building blocks are printed, you assemble the structure.
As you can imagine, to print something the size of a room, you would need an incredibly large printer. This is where the KamerMaker comes into play. Designed and built by Ultimaker for this project, the KamerMaker is literally the size of a shipping container on end. Actually, it was constructed from a shipping container. The build platform is 6' deep by 6' wide and 11' tall, which means you may have to split individual rooms into several pieces as well.
A small-scale prototype is printed first on a desktop 3D printer to make sure everything is correct.
One thing that popped into my mind when I saw this was that this isn't the first attempt at 3D printing a house. A group called Contour Crafting has put together some interesting demos that show the ability to print concrete or ceramic walls.
One advantage the KamerMaker design: It can also print all kinds of furniture and accessories, as well as windows, doorways, and electrical conduit channels. Multiple materials could have also been developed for use with a hot-end-style FDM printer like the KamerMaker.