3D printing :

3D printing :

3D printing : An innovation in construction

3D printing is overturning the conventional approach to construction models and housing design. This technology makes it possible to create complex shapes while cutting production times, costs and waste, and limiting heavy manual work and accidents.
3D printing holds out great hope for the future of construction. Used as part of a digital modelling approach, this technology is making rapid inroads across the construction industry. It could push back the limits of construction and, more particularly, pave the way for the most complex architectural shapes.
In 2017, Bouygues Construction and Nantes University decided to become part of the adventure. They joined forces to build the first 3D printed house in Nantes.
  • 3D printing: An innovation in construction
  • 3D printing: An innovation in construction
  • 3D printing: An innovation in construction

3D printed house: shared innovation

BatiPrint3DTM, the patented technology used to print this 3D house, is the result of interdisciplinary studies conducted by Bouygues Construction, alongside research teams from the Nantes Digital Sciences Laboratory (University of Nantes, the CNRS, the Ecole Centrale, Inria, IMT Atlantique) and the Institute of Research for Civil and Mechanical Engineering (University of Nantes, CNRS, Ecole Centrale).

This consortium of academics, researchers and manufacturers is a world first.

3D house building: speed and efficiency

Using 3D technology, the 95m² home became a reality in just three days via the arm of a polyarticulated robot: two polyurethane walls with concrete poured between them. This process has a number of advantages, including free-form capabilities and speed of execution. Also, the thermal insulation is already in place at the end of the construction process.

Lower environmental impact

This emerging process is a response to environmental issues. Less concrete, lower CO2 emissions, less transport, fewer nuisances (noise, dust), etc.

According to Contour Crafting (University of Southern California), this technology could reduce CO2 and grey energy emissions by 75% and 50% respectively, compared with a conventional process. These results should be viewed against the level of product quality, which must remain the same, and the level of environmental quality.

Key figures

Days of construction process


% cut in CO2 emissions