A recently finished 3D-printed home has furthered the eco-credentials of the construction method through the use of 100% natural materials, which allows it to be fully recycled at the end of its life.



With clusters and even complete neighborhoods of 3D-printed homes taking shape around the world, we’re starting to see the technology deliver on its promise as a streamlined solution for low-cost housing.A recently finished project has taken this concept into new territory as a 3D-printed home made with 100% natural materials, which allows it to be fully recycled at the end of its life.

In a relatively short space of time, we’ve seen 3D-printed homes evolve from rudimentary shelters to some lavish examples of luxury living. We’ve also seen some eco-friendly approaches that make use of raw earth materials, but most are made with the help of cement or concrete.

As part of the 3D printing process, these materials are extruded through giant nozzles to form the walls layer by layer, and combine with more conventional timber framing to build out walls and roofing.

The freshly finished BioHome3D is the handiwork of researchers at the University of Maine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, along with Maine Housing and the Maine Technology Institute.Instead of cement, concrete or some type of proprietary mortar, the home’s 3D-printed walls are made of wood fibers and natural resins sourced from Maine’s local forest product industry, as are its floor and roof.

“Many technologies are being developed to 3D print homes, but unlike BioHome3D, most are printed using concrete,” said Dr. Habib Dagher, executive director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “However, only the concrete walls are printed on top of a conventionally cast concrete foundation.

Traditional wood framing or wood trusses are used to complete the roof. Unlike the existing technologies, the entire BioHome3D was printed, including the floors, walls and roof. The biomaterials used are 100% recyclable, so our great-grandchildren can fully recycle BioHome3D.”