How 3D Printing is Making its Way to Construction

How 3D Printing is Making its Way to Construction

The concept of 3D printing has been admired and now used for many uses such as mass producing, healthcare and more. So, it is not surprising to know that the construction industry has begun integrating 3D printing into its processes or creating materials and even larger projects.

Although only a handful of 3D printed houses and office prototypes exist worldwide, this new technology represents a potential profound and exciting change in the process of building.

Development of 3D printing in construction

The concept of 3D printing was first developed in 1980s, using stereolithography or SLA. The technology then works as a high-powered laser, turning liquid resin into solid materials.

But it was only a decade ago when the technology improved a lot that it has become mainstream.

  • 2004 – A professor was able to print a wall in 3D which became widely accepted as the first entry into the construction
  • 2014 – A full canal house was built with the use of a 3D printing technology.
  • 2016 – China showcases the completion of a 3D printed mansion.
  • 2019 – The first concrete printing centre was opened in Europe wherein a company was tasked to deliver a number of 3D printed bridges all around the region.

Currently, the market for 3D printing construction has grown rapidly. In fact, it is expected to reach $1.5 billion by the year 2024.

Technology behind 3D printing

The principle of 3D printers in construction is initially the extrusion of special mixture, layer-by-layer, based on the 3-dimensional computer model of a particular object or structure.

The use of 3D printer in construction is done by attaching it to an arm that actively builds an onsite project or using printers in a factory that create components of a building project and then assembled later.

In 3D printing, the software programme will tell the printer regarding the dimensions of the end product. Thus, a printer will then inject material on a platform based on a particular plan.

Usually, a 3D printer uses cement, liquid metals, and plastics, as well as different materials that require cooling or heating to form a structure.

Growth of 3D printing technology

Despite the great potential seen in 3D printing concrete, the technology is still relatively in its infancy. Indeed, the majority of 3D printers processing concrete are still getting tests and tweaks nowadays. They are not even designed yet for manufacturing purposes.

Nevertheless, the technology still has the potential to build everything from foundations to walls to bridges to individual cinder blocks in a faster, more affordable, and more eco-friendly manner, while the technology is still in progress.

Advantages of 3D printing in construction

If you are wondering why 3D printing is gaining so much buzz inside the construction sector, you should know that there are increasing pressures faced by the industry to meet the budgets, so companies are looking towards new innovations to be able to fill the gaps.

  • Speed – Based from results, the 3D printing technology is able to build a home or building in just a matter of days. In comparison to conventional construction, 3D printing is significantly faster.
  • Waste reduction – Currently, there is a total of 1 billion tonnes of construction waste produced every year all over the world. This is expected to double by the year 2025. Since 3D printing only is an additive manufacturing process, it only uses as much material as required for the creation of a structure.
  • Design freedom – Basically, 3D printing offers design freedom, which enables architects to build complex designs. So, this will allow more creativity and innovation in the commercial construction space.
  • Reduce human error – There are around 5,000 workers killed on the job daily. But since 3D printing is programmable and automated, incorporating 3D printing onto the jobsite can reduce worker injuries and fatalities.

The potential of 3D printing is quite enormous to ignore. In fact, 3D printing and construction are important components geared towards massive growth. The new technology will be more affordable, providing a quick solution for the production of material and volume.

Overall, 3D printing is set to become a solution offering key benefits in cost savings and eco-friendliness for the future of your building. Leeds measured survey is able to provide CAD models and other digital designs geared towards growth, low project costs, reduced labour costs, and speed of delivery.


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    Author: Sonia
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