SOM debuts “world’s largest 3D-printed polymer building” designed for off-grid living

Categories: Building Methods

Architecture firm SOM has created a 3D-printed structure that generates its own power and shares energy with a companion vehicle, providing a model for off-grid living


There are days when it seems like the future has arrived, and this is one of them. Architecture firmSOM’s new project, a fully 3D-printed structure intended for off-grid living, gives us a little glimpse of what the years ahead might hold for housing and renewable energy. The incredible intersection of architecture and engineering, spotted on Dezeen, is a 3D-printed shelter with rooftop solar panels and an integrated battery system to power the dwelling day and night, and it comes with a companion vehicle that also generates its own power. Best of all, the house and vehicle can share energy wirelessly, helping each other out whenever needed and making off-grid living a practical option.

Each segment of the corridor-like structure is created separately using 3D-printing technology, and then assembled wherever needed, without requiring any additional framing or supports. SOM’s design team worked alongside U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory for this off-grid masterpiece. They claim it’s the world’s largest 3D-printed polymer structure, and they’re probably right. The shelter is a prototype made for the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE), an initiative designed to spur innovations in self-sustaining renewable energy. This model is known as AMIE 1.0.

The 3D-printed structure measures 38 feet long by 12 feet high by 12 feet wide, which is somewhere between the size of a large motorhome and that of a mobile home. AMIE 1.0 is designed to be a self-sustaining dwelling capable of generating its own power. The off-grid living space shares the energy with a companion vehicle (which is also created with 3D-printed parts) via electromagnetic fields. Together, the pair represent what is possible for sustainable electricity generation, storage, and use.

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