Do 3D Printed Houses Have a Foundation? Materials and Methods

Several options exist for the technology to use in the manufacturing of a 3D printed home, presenting a variety of choices for what type of foundation to lay as well. Generally, 3D printed homes are made using concrete. This makes it a popular material for pouring the home’s foundation as well. However, there are many 3D printed homes that separate the process for each stage of construction, a technique that often leads to using a pre-poured slab foundation that is ideal for “print in place” 3D printed homes.

Nailing it Down

While simply laying the pre-poured foundation isn’t enough on its own to keep the home in place, many options exist to make sure it remains firmly on the ground. Reinforced materials may be applied below ground to help fasten the home securely, and can include concrete columns, timber, or metal. This is a common technique known as “piling“, and is a relatively common practice in construction.

An engineer will be required to assess the load and recommend proper dimensions for each column (depending on the materials used).

Piling is used only in specific conditions decided by the designer engineer, whereas many 3D printed homes include the foundation as part of the initial printing process and are already incorporated into the original design and build process of the home.

Setting the Perimeter

Printing begins as soon as the machine is instructed to do so, which is why it’s typical for planners to install rails around the building site, with the purpose of directing the paste-like solution (often concrete) precisely where it needs to go.

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This means the foundation can be laid in a very short period of time, and it’s usually the very first step in building a 3D fabricated home. Additional layers are then added upon the existing one to construct the building from the bottom upward. Due to the speed and efficiency of the process, many 3D homes are completed within 48 to 72 hours, and sometimes even faster! (Source)

Other Materials Used

While it’s quite likely to see concrete and pre-poured solutions utilized in the foundations of 3D printed houses, there are many other popular ways to add support and durability to the structural integrity of the build.

For example, manufacturers can utilize rebar to help fortify a 3D house. These materials, as well as fiber, mesh, and post-tensioned bars, can be added to concrete without significant cost or delay to help stabilize the foundation and create something that will last long into the future. For more, check out our post titled Do 3D Printed Houses Use Rebar?

Quite often, the superior techniques and materials found in 3D printed homes make them a popular choice for areas that require firm structural integrity as well as affordability. It’s safe to say that 3D printed homes are revolutionizing the way people think about building homes – and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Also, check out our post Do 3D Printed Houses Have Basements? & Is a 3D Printed House Safe? The Good, The Bad & What One Must Know


I am a very well experienced techie civil engineer who's extensively interested in 3D printing technology and even more captivated by the potential of 3D printing livable structures

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