SIP Roof 3D Printed Home Detroit MI

Location: Detroit, MI

Project Information

Project Type: Residential, < 3,000 sq. ft.
Manufacturer: Insulspan
Builder: Citizen Robotics
Design Professional: develop ARCHITECTURE
Year Built: 2023


High Performance: Yes
HERS/EUI Index Score: 46
ACH50 - Blower Test Results: 1.71
CO2 lbs./sq.ft./year:

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Citizen Robotics and Insulspan® have unveiled Detroit's first 3D printed house, a pioneering venture set to transform the construction industry.

The project, located in Detroit, Michigan, marks a significant milestone in the evolution of construction technology. Using cutting-edge 3D printing techniques, Citizen Robotics and Insulspan have demonstrated the feasibility of constructing a home in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional methods.

The Technology Behind the Innovation:

At the heart of this innovation is 3D printing technology. Instead of traditional construction methods that involve assembling materials piece by piece, a large-scale 3D printer extrudes a specialized concrete mixture layer by layer, gradually building up the walls of the house. This method not only streamlines the construction process but also allows for intricate designs and customization.

Collaboration for Success:

Citizen Robotics, a leader in 3D printing technology, spearheaded the construction process. Their expertise in additive manufacturing ensured the seamless operation of the 3D printer, resulting in precise and sturdy walls for the house. Insulspan, renowned for its advanced building materials, provided the roofing system, enhancing the energy efficiency and durability of the structure.

Addressing Affordable Housing Challenges:

One of the primary motivations behind this project was to address the pressing issue of affordable housing. By leveraging 3D printing technology, the construction costs are significantly reduced, making home ownership more attainable for many individuals and families. Additionally, the efficiency of the construction process means that houses can be built in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods, further lowering costs and increasing accessibility.


Specializing in forward-thinking construction methods, Citizen Robotics sought out Insulspan to partner with because of the versatility and superior energy efficiency of the company’s Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs are quickly becoming the future of construction, with their ease and speed of installation catching the attention of builders worldwide. From single family homes to commercial construction and everything in between, SIPs are one of the most versatile ways to achieve an energy efficient, high quality build in record time.

Minimum Labor Needed:

Utilizing a 3D printer recycled from the automotive industry, this new construction home was designed with 3D printed mortar concrete – the walls formed by squeezing thin layers of concrete out of the nozzle of a 10-foot robotic arm. The walls grow upward as the robotic arm continues layer by layer to retrace the shape, leaving gaps for electrical outlets. The material is specially formulated to dry quickly, and the walls rise 10 to 15 millimeters with each layer. This fusion of modern technology with creative artistry means that the home can be constructed with minimal labor costs – this particular home was printed in five short days, and only required two people on site monitoring the equipment as the walls went up. Once the walls were completed, the Insulspan Structural Insulated Panel roof was quickly fitted into place, and the plumbing and electrical were added through conventional methods.

Energy Efficiency:

The 3D printing combined with Insulspan Structural Insulated Panels creates an incredibly energy efficient space, with both products significantly contributing to making the home airtight. Boasting an impressive HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score of 46 makes the home especially unique, meaning that it is significantly less expensive to heat and cool – with an average savings of $1,923 annually in energy costs. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average nominal retail electricity price paid by U.S. residential customers continues to go up 4.3% per year – though in 2022, prices registered a staggering year-over-year growth of 10.7%, the highest since the beginning of the century. Assuming energy prices rise at 4.3%, the HERS rating of 46 means the savings to the homeowner over the course of a 30-year mortgage would be an astonishing $118,295.


A thoughtful feature of this home is accessibility. This home was designed with ground level entryways, two interior 3D printed curved walls, a zero-threshold shower and wider living spaces, allowing those with mobility challenges to comfortably move about.

A Glimpse of the Future:

The completion of Detroit's first 3D printed house heralds a new era in construction. With the potential to revolutionize the industry, this innovative approach offers a glimpse into a future where homes can be built quickly, affordably, and sustainably. As 3D printing technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more projects like this, transforming the way we think about building and living spaces.


In summary, the collaboration between Citizen Robotics and Insulspan to construct Detroit's first 3D printed house represents a significant step forward in construction technology. By harnessing the power of 3D printing, this project not only showcases innovation but also addresses critical issues such as affordable housing. As this technology matures, we can anticipate a future where building homes is faster, cheaper, and more adaptable to the needs of communities worldwide. When speaking with a rep from Insulspan®, he was passionate about not only the home, but the community.

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BASF Corporation

Houston, TX
Insulspan SIPs

Blissfield, MI


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