3D Printing in Construction – An overview

Hi everyone. Hewlbern here talking about about 3D printing… but not as you know it. It’s been used in plastic, medicine and a variety of fields but right now innovators around the world are designing and preparing for it’s newest use – Construction.

But just in case you live under a rock and have no idea about 3D Printing here’s the basics. 3D printing is among the top trends in the construction and manufacturing industries in recent times. Demand for custom-made, rapidly produced and cost effective materials and components has proven 3D printing to be a viable and effective form of manufacturing objects and materials – companies can now rapidly product prototypes using the technology.

This technology has begun taking on traction in the construction industry via a method of printing called Fused Deposition Modelling, or FDM for short.

 

Now FDM is pretty limited in what it can do at the moment – but that’s not to say what it can do now isn’t pretty amazing, or that innovation will solve many of it’s problems. Andrey Rudenko in the Philippines put one together last year and built a castle for himself. The company WinSun has shown more of it’s capabilities in building 10 houses in under a day. Pretty amazing stuff right?

win2

This has the potential to be used in the construction industry, with reduced costs and environmental sustainability making it an attractive alternative to traditional methods of construction. No more formwork (a part of construction that carries a significant cost), significantly reduced labour requirement, and up to 80% less cost.

Now this hasn’t been validated to a great extent in industry yet but already we have companies like Winsun, and others in worldwide, looking into investing in this technology.

So what does this mean for the future of housing and construction, as well as the jobs of tradesmen who currently fulfil this soon to be automated role? Well not much good. But the faster we take on new technologies the faster new jobs can be created and workers retrained.

I’ll be linking some more of the research I’m doing into this topic over the coming weeks. But here’s a glimpse of the future of housing and architecture.

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