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Rendering: WATG

3D printing is gradually taking on a larger role in architecture, but the things it can accomplish can definitely still be surprising. As proof, we present the curvaceous home pictured above — can you believe it will soon be a 3D-printed reality?

Called “Curve Appeal,” the home recently won 3D-printing startup Branch Technology’s Freeform Home Design Challenge, a global competition that saw participants create designs for a one-storey single-family home between 600 and 800 square feet in size. The contest was billed as an investigation of how 3D printing can improve day-to-day life, and competitors were encouraged to break away from traditional construction and aesthetics.

“Curve Appeal” certainly seems to do just that. The innovative home, designed by the Chicago branch of architectural firm WATG, will have a supportive interior core and exterior skin that together will form its almost serpentine structure. Once complete, transparent walls will allow natural light to flood the futuristic interior, creating an organic feel.

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Rendering: WATG

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Rendering: WATG

WATG received $8,000 in cash for winning the competition, but as mentioned it will also get to see “Curve Appeal” become a reality. Branch Technology plans to build the home using Cellular Fabrication, or C-Fab, its patented 3D-printing technology.

According to the company, C-Fab is unique in that it allows for “freeform” 3D printing, or 3D printing done in open space — that’s in contrast to the usual “layer-by-layer” method of 3D printing. As 3ders.org explains, that means Branch Technology must use a mixture of 3D printing and traditional construction methods when creating buildings.

In the case of “Curve Appeal,” the company will use a customized industrial robotic arm to 3D print only the home’s inner framework. That framework will then be sprayed with everyday low-cost building materials. Once finished, the structure will be the world’s first freeform 3D-printed home.

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Rendering: WATG

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Rendering: WATG

“Curve Appeal is a very thoughtful approach to the design of our first house,” said Platt Boyd, founder of Branch Technology, in a release. “It responds well to the site conditions, magnifies the possibilities of cellular fabrication and pushes the envelope of what is possible while still utilizing more economical methods for conventional building systems integration.”

The company will begin the planning phase for “Curve Appeal” soon, with completion scheduled for 2017. Construction will take place at Branch Technology’s lab in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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