A “groundbreaking” example of 3D printing technology was unveiled Aug. 30 in Wellington, Florida–and it happens to be a horse barn.
Called the world’s largest 3D-printed structure, the 10,105-square foot equestrian facility was reportedly built at a cost of $3.3 million on a 5-acre property that, according to local news sources, is owned by Wendy Dixon of Nantucket Sport Horses.
It was erected by the innovative Wellington-based construction company Printed Farms using a BOD2 construction 3D printer made by COBOD (Construction Of Buildings On Demand), an international company headquartered in Denmark.
Designed to endure weather extremes
According to a COBOD press release, the luxury barn, which is concrete-based and “designed to endure the extreme weather challenges of the hurricane-prone region,” is “almost 50% larger than the previous record-holder in the Middle East.”
Printed Farms’ founder Jim Ritter, himself a Wellington equestrian whose rider son is reportedly trained by Dixon, has noted that the structure is 10 times stronger than buildings fashioned from traditional blocks. In addition, he contends, the walls are sealed in a way that reduces the risks of flooding and mold buildup.
There are other advantages, too. As the COBOD press release says: “The versatility and benefits of 3D printing technology are also demonstrated through the structure’s 3D printed walls that create a cavity and air gap which provides natural cooling to the building.”
The barn, which reportedly took nine months to build, is a whopping 155 feet long and 83 feet wide. Featured are 16 horse stalls, a feed room, several grooming areas and a riders’ lounge, with a hot walker in an adjacent round building and a separate manure shed.
To watch a brief video from COBOD about this unique 3D project, click here.
Building a better barn
The Printed Farms team, which constructed Florida’s first permitted 3D-printed home in Tallahassee, was the first to develop a complete 3D construction printing building system named PRINTZ.
Once revolutionary 3D technology is more widely used in this field, proponents believe it will pave the way for cheaper, quicker and even safer building construction with fewer materials and less physical labor.
As Ritter has pointed out in various reports, 3D printers also allow for a wide range of architectural models and shapes, some of which are on display at the new Wellington barn. Other benefits of 3D printed buildings, he says, are increased strength and structural integrity, longevity and sustainability–all desirable attributes in a facility housing prized horses.
COBOD co-founder Philip Lund-Nielsen praised Ritter’s team in his company’s press release: “Printed Farms has done a remarkable job in completing this massive structure, and the project demonstrates again how 3D printing is transforming the construction industry for the better … we are especially proud to observe our 3D printers being utilized for a broad range of applications besides housing.”