Robots printing house for the financially-challenged by Professor XU Weiguo’s team from the Tsinghua University School of Architecture

3D Printing Concrete House for the low-income families in Africa

Project Specs


非常感谢 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队 (联系邮箱予gooood分享以下内容。
Appreciations towards Professor XU Weiguo’s team from the Tsinghua University School of Architecture (contact:gaoyuan_thu@163.comfor providing the following description:




▼视频,video ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

A team from the Tsinghua University School of Architecture led by professor XU Weiguo has independently researched and developed a “Mobile Platform of Robotic 3D Printing in Concrete” and a “Rapid Construction System for Concrete Houses”. Recently, the two technological achievements have been successfully applied in the actual printing/construction of a model house for low-income housing in Africa, resulting in a genuine 3D printed concrete building being completed at the Experimental Base of Wuxi Research Institute of Applied Technologies Tsinghua University.

▼建成照片,东南角人视点,Completion, perspective from the Southeast ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队


The “Rapid Construction System for Concrete Houses” is designed specifically for low-income families in Africa. With an area of 40㎡, the house contains a porch, a guest dining room, bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom, etc., meeting the living demand of up to 4 individuals. The porch, kitchen and bathroom are arranged on one side of the house, forming a rectangular unit; the guest dining room and bedrooms are arranged on the other, with a light partition wall or storage furniture in the middle separating the two parts. The layout of the house is flexible so that it can adapt to actual living requirements. The roof is consisted of two barrel arches, among which one is larger than the other, covering respectively the above-mentioned spaces while creating spacious and comfortable indoor environment underneath. Floor-to-ceiling window is installed on both the south and the north side of the house while skylight is used in the kitchen roof, providing ample lighting for the indoor space. The exterior walls adopted the traditional local woven texture as decoration, which was printed altogether with the wall structure by the robotic 3-D printing equipment. Thermal insulation material is poured into the gap within the wall, forming an integrative exterior wall system with decoration, structure, and insulation all in one. The building comes with a simple and modern architectural image while responding to the local cultural traditions.

▼剖透视,Section ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队


The “Mobile Platform of Robotic 3-D Printing in Concrete” contains a mobile robotic arm with 3-D printing device, a rail with mobile lift platform, and a dragging-suspending platform, etc. In the 3-D printing device, the robotic arm and the printing front-end are installed and designed to be movable on the lift platform. The printing material, the appending machine, the stirring and pumping all-in-one machine, and the control equipment on the other hand, are installed on the dragging-suspending platform. In order to print/construct a whole house, the printing platform requires only of two persons pushing buttons on the mobile platform. While substantially integrating and simplifying the technique of 3-D printing in concrete, it reduces the human input in the printing/construction process to a minimum. This printing platform enables a direct, on-site printing of all bases, walls, and roofs, resulting in a rapid construction at a low cost.

▼室外打印-打印东侧墙体,Printing the walls outdoor ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼夜间打印,Printing at night ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼夜间打印,Printing at night ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼室外打印-打印西侧墙体,Printing the walls outdoor ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼打印拱构件,Printing thr arch component ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼屋顶吊装后,Photo after hoisting of the roofs ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼顶视图,View from top ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼室内照片-客厅,Interior of the living room ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队(摄影师: 刘亦芃)

▼室内照片-厨房,Interior of the kitchen ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队(摄影师: 刘亦芃)

▼房屋入口,Entrance of the house ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队

▼建成照片,南侧人视,Completion, perspective from the South ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队


Currently, the team led by professor XU Weiguo has moved on to Wujiazhuang Village in Xiahuayuan District, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province. There they are conducting a 3-D printing/construction experiment for dwellings in rural China, specifically on the actual printing of the Juanzi House in the village. The Juanzi House is five-bay farm house in which three are relatively larger than the other two. The three larger ones are to function as living room and bedrooms with barrel arches as their roof. The two smaller ones are to serve as kitchen and bathroom with flattop. 3 sets of mobile platforms are being used in the printing of the farm house, which are located right in the middle of the 3 larger bays. The base, walls, and the roof of the house are being printed on-site simultaneously. Currently, it is still under construction.

▼武家庄项目现场,Construction site at Wujiazhuang village ©清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队


Poverty Alleviation and rural reconstruction are important tasks for our current social development. However, most of our current rural reconstruction merely achieved improvements on the public environment, such as road construction and repair, laying of municipal pipelines, facade redecoration of residential houses, and so on. The fact of the matter is, living spaces and indoor living conditions of these rural houses remain without any substantial transformation. The “Mobile Platform of Robotic 3-D Printing in Concrete” and the “Rapid Construction System for Concrete Houses” on the other hand, can rebuild rural houses one-by-one in an organic renewal fashion, therefore significantly contribute to the rural housing construction.

项目设计 & 完成年份:2020&2020

More: 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队 (联系邮箱

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