By Shanie Phillips | Inside3DP
The world’s first open source network for construction sets of 3D printable houses, WikiHouse, showcased its first prototype of a functional 3D printed home in London on Friday as part of this year’s London Design Festival.
The prototype on display was of the WikiHouse 4.0, a two-storey, two-bedroom house built with 3D printers and CNC machines. The 68-square-meter prototype’s components were all designed with CAD software and no teams of professional builders or architects were involved in any of the design or physical construction. The home took a small group of volunteers just eight days and less than £50,000 to build.
A creative commons for downloadable homes
WikiHouse is a creative commons of downloadable construction sets for DIY houses shared by makers and designers from around the world. It is an open library of blueprints, 3D printable CAD files and various other resources that can be freely downloaded and constructed together with the use of technologies like 3D printing and CNC milling to build a functional and livable digitally manufactured house.
The WikiHouse initiative aims to disrupt the housing industry by making it easy and inexpensive to own a home. London is one of many major cities around the world experiencing a serious housing crisis due to extremely rapid inflation in housing costs. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, house prices in London are rising at more than 20 percent annually. The continual rapid increase in the cost of homes is making it extremely hard for college graduates and young couples to buy a home. WikiHouse wants to change this.
“What we are trying to do with this installation is to spark people’s imagination about how technology can now enable almost anyone to afford their own custom-built house without the need for conventional construction skills,” said Alastair Parvin, Co-designer of WikiHouse. “We don’t believe that WikiHouse is the only solution to the current housing crisis, but we do want to host a disruptive debate and challenge landowners, urban planners and policy makers to think differently about the barriers – such as land or building costs.”
A solution to the housing crisis?
WikiHouse is not the first group to construct a 3D printed house. Earlier this year, designers in Amsterdam began one of the first projects ever for a 3D printed house and were shortly followed by a Chinese company that 3D printed ten full houses in less than 24 hours.
Despite the similarities, WikiHouse has a core difference that sets it apart from the various other projects. WikiHouse is not just a single 3D printed house project that aims to showcase the technology’s capabilities. The initiative hopes to start an ongoing network of printable housing component files and start a housing revolution. If WikiHouse lives up to its goals, thousands of people across the globe may soon be able to purchase a small patch of land and build affordable, functional homes without any outside help within a matter of days.
Check out a time-lapse video of the WikiHouse 4.0′s construction below.
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