Could Washington state be getting a full-scale 3D printed replica of Dracula's castle?

Mar 3, 2017 | By Tess

Mike Draghici, a software engineer of Romanian origin, is hoping to build a full-scale replica of Romania’s famous Bran Castle (often associated with Dracula) on his Washington estate with the help of 3D printing. Draghici has teamed up with Minnesota-based engineer Andrey Rudenko, the man behind the Rudenko 3D concrete house printer, to bring the castle to life.

The ambitious project is trying to raise funds ($1 million to be exact) through a Kickstarter campaign to get the plans and building in motion. Obviously, 3D printing a full-size castle is no easy feat, so Draghici is also seeking out investors, engineers, inventors, builders, carpenters, and more to partner with him.

Draghici’s 40-acre estate, located in Washington’s wine country, is called “Vampire Hills,” a nod to his Romanian heritage. (Dracula fans will know that, while the tale was written by Irish author Bram Stoker, the famous fictional vampire is from Transylvania, a region now located in central Romania.) By 3D printing a replica of the famous Bran Castle on his estate, the software engineer is aiming to one day open a luxury estate winery that will host events and cater to upscale guests.

According to Draghici, he was able to get his hands on plans for the Bran Castle from Romanian relatives, and his team has already created the digital 3D models of the castle, bringing him one step closer to realizing his goals. Significant challenges remain, however, namely the funding for the project. As of writing, the Kickstarter campaign has only raised $8.66. It seems likely that funding for the 3D printed castle might have to come from other sources, such as deep-pocketed investors.

The real Bran Castle in Romania

The 3D printing technology for the castle will come from Andrey Rudenko, an innovator and maker who we’ve written about numerous times. Rudenko first came onto our radar in 2014 with a project that is still impressive by today’s standards of 3D printed construction. Readers will likely remember his 3D printed backyard castle that was made using a modified 3D printer Rudenko himself built. The castle, which measures 3 x 5 meters, is featured on our list of top 3D printed housing and construction projects.

Andrey Rudenko’s 3D printed backyard castle

Since then, Rudenko has also spoken about his plans to build a full-sized, fantasy-inspired 3D printed village, and teamed up with the Lewis Grand Hotel in the Philippines to develop the world’s first 3D printed hotel. On February 16 of this year, Rudenko announced that his most recent concrete 3D printer, the Stroybot2, was complete and is a “a more advanced, faster, lighter, and user-friendly 3D Concrete Printing machine.”

If the funding and land approvals come through for Draghici’s 3D printed Romanian-style castle, there is no doubt that Rudenko and his Stroybot2 3D printer will be on board to help build it. Naturally, it might be years before the 3D printed castle even breaks ground, though we do hope it comes to fruition.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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