You Can Now 3D Print a Model of Your New House

For most people, staring at blueprints is a real chore. Nobody really knows what all those little lines mean, and, wow, they're just so blue. Most importantly, however, blueprints make it hard for a layperson to comprehend what a space will actually be like in real life, which is a problem when you're building a house—or anything, for that matter.

The Plan Collection has a new solution. If a two-dimensional depiction of your new house isn't sufficient, the company will now just 3D print it. The Plan Collection hosts floor plans for over 20,000 different homes designed by a variety of architects. Now, when you get a CAD file construction package with the floor plan for your new home, you'll also get the CAD files to 3D print your own model. Actually finding a printer to do the 3D printing, however, is up to you.

It's a nice gesture, one that points to a more ambitious future for 3D printing and architecture. James McNair, the Plan Collection's president and chief operating officer, hopes the future of 3D printing will yield more possibilities for home building. "Imagine a future where you can build your entire home using a robotic 3D printer," McNair said in a release. "Our first house plans with a 3D printing option are just the beginning."

This is not some crazy pipe dream. There's already a 3D-printed house project underway in Amsterdam that's open to the public. Meanwhile, others are crunching the numbers to see just how much economic sense it would make to 3D print a house with existing technology. For now, though, the appeal of 3D printing a model is obvious. Just think of the fun your pet hamsters could have inside. [The Plan Collection]