This afternoon I visited DUS Architects in Amsterdam to talk about their exciting new project called Kamermaker (in English: Roombuilder). Here I had a nice chat with Hedwig Heinsman, who is leading the project.
So what is the Kamermaker and what can it do?
The Kamermaker is the world’s first movable pavilion that is capable of printing entire rooms of plastic. The plastics that are currently used for printing the models are PLA (bio plastic) and PP (polypropylene). With a record breaking build platform of 2.2m (width) x 2.2m (length) x 3.5m (height) it can actually print objects the size of a small garden house!
The printer is not yet ready for printing anything like an entire pavilion but they are in the test-phase and like starting with any (normal sized) 3D printer, success comes with trial and error. They already had some great success with printing bracelets (size GIGANTIC) so I have all confidence in receiving their first success story short-term.
Where does the idea come from?
Before starting this project, Hedwig and her colleagues were already familiar with 3D printing. They used an Ultimaker machine for creating their (architectural) models. Using this printer intensively for their models made them come up with the Kamermaker project. “ Why not print these models the actual size they should be?” said Hedwig. Yeah, why not!
Because they already worked with an Ultimaker, they contacted the company about a possible collaboration to realize the project. This off course was an easy decision for Ultimaker. The involvement of Ultimaker brought attention to the maker community and soon after a lot of maker-enthousiast were also involved in realizing the project. The result is the Kamermaker, a giant modification of the original Ultimaker design.
Here you can see the design based on the Ultimaker machine. They are currently testing with a variety of extruders. This extruder prints PLA.
The big question is off course: what can it used for? There are more than one possibilities for this amazing machine. The most interesting one is that the printer can be used for architectural purposes in third world countries. The idea is to ship entire Kamermakers to India where they can recycle local plastics and make usable buildings or other necessary objects on the spot.
Hedwig also gave me an insight in what they are planning for the near future. A very cool project they are trying to realize is printing an (entire) traditional Amsterdam canal house. This is a very ambitious project but if they succeed in this it will definitely rock the world of 3D printing!
All in all this is a company to keep an eye on. I will update this article as soon as we receive the news of their first successful big print.