Construction using 3D printing

3D printing

3D printing is a computer-controlled technique. It involves the successive layering of materials to create 3D shapes. It finds various applications in product designing, tool manufacturing, engineering, medical applications, etc. Since 2005, many homes have been adopting the use of 3D printers.

Construction 3d printer

It is a machine that helps in constructing a house using material layer by layer. The material in this case can be concrete. Concrete 3D printing is as same as the technology of 3D printing. Here, concrete or earth materials deposited from a nozzle are placed in layers.

3D printed concrete deposited from a nozzle
3D printed concrete deposited from a nozzle

How to build 3D printed houses?

Some constructions use enormous 3D printers, while others use a mechanical arm attached to a nozzle.

First, a 3D digital design is created using a scanner or computer-aided design (CAD). The machine observes the design and prints the materials in successive layers that are joined or fused. The material used is concrete. It is pushed out of a nozzle to form layers. A similar example can be piping the frosting on a cake. The foundations and walls of the house or building are created layer by layer. The ground acts as the printer’s build plate.

3D printing helps in constructing models from CAD
3D printing helps in constructing models from CAD

Another way of using 3D printers in construction can be by making 3D print brick molds. The bricks are later piled atop each other manually.

Advantages of Concrete 3d printing

It helps save time, effort and material as compared with the traditional construction methods. 3D printed houses are affordable. Therefore, it can be of great aid in disaster-struck areas or for the poor. The building costs are also reduced. The time taken for building a home is way less than that taken traditionally.

In many cases, 3D printed houses are built with organic, eco-friendly materials. Many 3D printers also use solar energy and generate less emission. Moreover, there will be less wastage, as the materials are 3D printed on demand. It also helps reduce injury risks.

It can also help enable construction in harsh or dangerous areas not appropriate for human manual labor.

Many architects are excited to use this technique as it allows trying various designs. It is easier to create curved walls and unique designs. It can help in producing multiple components at the same time. Multiple materials and colors can also be implemented.

Various designs can be implemented with the help of 3D printing
Various designs can be implemented with the help of 3D printing

Concrete 3D printers are also being utilized to construct bridges, benches, etc. Various space organizations are planning to implement 3D printing for colonies in outer space.

There are many advantages, but there can be few limits in using his building technology.

Limits

3D printers are not cheap. It can cost up to a million dollars.

The 3D printers can only build the frames of the house. It is paused numerous times to manually set up plumbing and wirings. Though 3D printing has advanced a lot in recent years, it is not yet fully capable of constructing a fully functional house.  

The exteriors of the walls are not as smooth as that of traditionally built houses. But, post-processing can be an option.

Generally, it can also cause harm to local economies. As 3D printers require less manual work, they cause many workers to be unemployed.

Conclusion

With more flexibility in designs and creativity, more and more amazing projects are developed. The construction industry is becoming the fast-growing industry. More massive 3D printers are constructed, thereby constructing more homes.

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