D-Shape: a 3D printer printing houses

A few months ago we wrote an article about a 3D printer that prints entire rooms by DUS Architects. Today we’ll tell you about D-Shape.. a 3D Printer that prints entire houses.


Italian inventor Enrico Dini has developed D-Shape. An enormous 3D printer that can print entire buildings out of sand. It works as followed. First the printer sprays a thin layer of sand followed by a layer of magnesium-based binder. The glue turns the sand into solid stone, which is built up layer-by-layer from the bottom up to eventually form an entire house.

Documentary on Enrico Dini

Marc Webb and Wake-Walker are making a documentary about Enrico Dini called ‘The Man Who Prints Houses’. Check out their teaser.

Contour Crafting

The method of printing houses is called Contour Crafting. A form of 3D printing that uses robotic arms and nozzles to squeeze out layers of concrete or other materials, moving back and forth over a set path to fabricate a large component. Contour Crafting has great potential for creating low-cost, customized buildings. Just think about the possibilities. For instance constructing rapid shelters after natural disasters, or operational structures on the moon out of moon dust, and cheap houses for people in impoverished countries. To visualize this method of constructing you have to watch the video below. It’s pretty old (2010) but new to us. It shows how a straight hollow wall with fiber reinforced concrete is constructed in literally minutes. Really a must see!


  1. Editor 3DPrinting.com says

    Good question David!

    I quickly looked it up and the technique does include a fully automated systems that can construct high raised steel buildings or steel reinforced concrete buildings using prefabricated components. An example of this approach is Big-Canopy, which is the world’s first automated construction system for building a precisely defined concrete structure and has four independent masts supporting an overhead crane which delivers components at the control of a simple joystick.

    Hope that answers your question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *