In this post, we will be going to talk about how 3D printing is changing the global construction industry forever.
Technology has left a deep impact on recent human history probably more than any other area. Just think of a light bulb, steam engine, or, more recently cars and airplanes, not to mention the advent and rise of the internet.
Even as these technologies have made our lives supposedly better, and opened up new possibilities, but usually it takes time, sometimes even decades, before the truly booming nature of the technology becomes visible.
Therefore, it is now widely being anticipated that 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM) has the vast potential to become one of these very technologies transforming the production and construction industries.
Basically, what is 3D technology?
The idea of 3D printing has been going around for quite some time now. The real use of 3D printing and its utilization into the construction industry is now turning to become really a reality. Together both the architects and contractors around the globe are starting to build the first 3D residential structures including houses and even multi-story buildings.
How might 3D printing Integrate with the Construction Industry?
There is now credible evidence showing that 3D printing is both reliable and applicable in the construction sector, and it is very possible that the technology will start to be seen more and more in the construction and building industry in the coming months and years.
But the question remains that how far these machines end up being used physically on-site, or whether they remain largely a tool for pre-fabrication.
These scenarios remain to be seen in real life. One thing is sure and that is for the right type of construction project, it seems quite reasonable to expect 3D printers will join the arsenal of devices and tools available to builders to utilize for modern high-tech buildings.
What makes 3D printing distinct from the current construction methods?
As far as the functionality is concerned, the 3D printing is done using mega size printers which use a special concrete and composite mixture that is thicker than regular concrete, allowing it to be self-adhesive as it sets. That’s the reason 3D printed components do not have the same design limitations that may hinder present construction methods in place.
Moreover, curved concrete structures produced using 3D printing can be hollow, typically using less material and thus creating space for building services inside the structural elements. Finally, 3D printing concrete saves a lot of time. In particular, using these technologies potentially reduces a two-week job to just three days. The ultimate advantage is this reduces the risks of injury at work greatly.
Now, these features of 3D printing not only could revolutionize the construction industry, but the less costly process could also greatly affect housing affordability.
Thus this could be deduced that the lower material usage and lower labor costs create a cheap construction method which can eventually create much sought cheap housing.
As it has been proved that in terms of materials usage, 3D printing is both cheaper and economical than traditional methods. With additive rather than subtractive processes, fewer materials are used than common manufacturing processes.
Ultimately, this reduces the negative environmental impact as less waste is produced and this promotes conservation too.
WinSun, a China-based company has already claimed to have built 10 3D constructed houses in a single day at a cost of merely five thousand dollars (7.5 lacs rupees) per house. Additionally, in order to make housing more affordable, many architects also hope that 3D printing will increase their ability to customize homes and buildings in the very near future.
At the start of this year, the company WinSun took its 3D printing construction over single houses, building a five-story apartment building and nearly a 12,000 square-foot villa. WinSun used a large 3D printer that fabricates the building parts in large pieces at the company’s facility and finally then assembled the pieces on-site adding steel reinforcements and insulation to ensure durability.
According to news media reports, this company says that the 3D process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and can reduce production times by almost up to 70 percent, and thus reduce labor costs by 50 to 80 percent if everything is planned out diligently.
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