Japan’s first 3D-printed house prototype

Home-ownership is a delicate topic for younger people since fewer and fewer people seem to be able to grab a foothold on the ever-shifting housing market. Once you do find a home and secure it for yourself, you’ll likely be locked into paying off a mortgage for thirty years or more, tying you down to one place until you finally pay it off.

But what if things were more…fluid? That’s the question posed by Serendix Partners, who are aiming to bring their 3D-printed homes to the public. They embarked on this lofty goal in 2019, reserved patents for their designs in 2020, and have officially announced a mission statement for their futuristic homes here in 2021.

The company cites many reasons for taking this plunge; they argue that decreasing numbers of carpenters, particularly in Japan, are driving up the costs of traditionally constructed homes, and that this situation will only intensify as the currently active carpenters retire without sufficient supply to replace them. By allowing a robot to 3D-print the entire house the system will become automated and assumedly drive down costs.

The relatively cheap cost of their sphere-styled homes — a 30-cubic-meter home is assumed to cost around 3,000,000 yen — means avoiding being locked into the long-term mortgages mentioned earlier, and makes the purchase of a home more akin to buying a new car. What’s more, the company claims that their architectural 3D-printer is capable of building one of these spherical abodes in around 24 hours with no human personnel required.

The 3D-printed homes have another advantage besides their cost and automation. With climate change presenting a very real threat to local environments, these houses were created to better withstand severe weather, particularly earthquakes and typhoons. The homes themselves were designed by world-renowned architectural talent: Masayuki Sono, winner of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge in 2015.

The publication of the house designs is sure to earn some interest, considering the steadily increasing popularity of tiny homes with prospective buyers. Do you think you would be comfortable living in a house like this one? Stay tuned for more updates as the project progresses!

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