3D construction printing is one of the most stunning novelties that can be defined as a technology fabricated different types of buildings to come to reality.
The professor of South California University, Beroch Hoshnevis, is considered to be the man who first introduced using of 3D printing for building houses. He has patented CONTOUR CRAFTING – an extruding method based on layered manufacturing process when special concrete applying layer by layer.
How does 3D printer work?
The first step is always the same in 3D printing: you should create a 3D model using a software program. It is the most significant part as the whole process is entrusted to artificial intelligence. The main part of the printer is the extruder and the eccentrics which move along the platform. The installation of the base depends on the configuration of a certain houses. It is important to note that the concrete is supplied directly from the concrete mixer. The printer squeezes this solution through special pump-pipe-nozzles to print out wall or structural components of the house. Surely concrete is not the only material used in 3D construction process.
Here are some others that are also used:
- Antifreezing mixture – used for working at freezing temperatures
- With the addition of diatomaceous beads – to make a rough surface
- Modified gypsum – for decorative pattern
- Waterproof gypsum – for facing work
- With plasticizer – to recreate a flat surface
- Sand concrete
- Mix with fiberglass and so on
As stated above, the type of 3D printer totally depends on the type of a house. The size of the printer itself, as well as the nozzle, which supplies the building mixture, depends on this.
The first place out of the best 3D printing construction companies is Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. Chinese printer Winsun is a large machine of 150 meters long, 10 meters wide and more than 6 meters high. Building houses with the help of Winsun is 50% cheaper than using classical methods, it also provides 60% material savings and 80% labour savings!
There are more big companies in this sphere. Here they are:
- Apis Cor(USA)
- ProTo R 3Dp и RC 3Dp, CyBe Additive Industries (Netherlands)
- Batiprint3D (France)
- DCP, MIT (USA)
- BetAbram P1, P2 и P3 (Slovenia)
The benefits and limits of the technology
The benefits are:
- Zero-waste: Such houses can be built using only eco-friendly materials
- The speed of creating houses: Apis Cor 3D printed a house in 24 hours. How fast!
- Lower cost in comparison with the classical construction industry
- Quality work with less manual labour
As for the limits:
- High energy consumption
- As the technology has just started out houses are tend to be smaller than traditional houses constructed by humans
- It is still impossible to build fully-functional houses. 3D printers can only create the walls and the frame of the house depositing concrete or some other material layer after layer. Things like windows, doors, central heating system or electricity should be installed a little bit later by people.
- The lack of legislative framework. For example, in Russia 3D construction isn’t regulated by law at all!
3D printers are the most perspective field in the market of construction industry. Everyone who works in this sphere is absolutely sure that it’s developing so rapidly that one day will enable humans to create skyscrapers using 3D printing. Finally, we should say that these days the technology is used to build not only houses, but also bridges and objects for conducting astronomical experiments in outer space. Just imagine 3D printing houses built on Elon Musk’s Mars! We may guess one day it will become a reality, because the potential is enormous!
Image credit: https://panglosslabs.org