Forward-thinking companies are harnessing the potential of 3D printing to change the game in the construction industry. And it’s not only about making bricks and home decors. We’re talking about the 3D printing of an entire house here. How cool is that?
It isn’t only about sounding cool though. Builders, engineers, and architects consider 3D printing as a cost-effective solution to addressing the world’s housing problems. It also paves the way towards digital transformation for the construction industry — a sector that has long been stuck in manual and labor-intensive processes.
If this progress continues, 3D printing of houses is set to have better designs, increased functionalities, and a lower carbon footprint.
But is it worth the investment? Or is it just another fad?
Find the answers as you read through this article.
3D printed houses are the types of houses built through 3D printing technology.
3D printing is the process of creating a physical object from a digital design. Think of it as printing on paper. But instead of two-dimensional words and images, 3D printers can produce a physical three-dimensional object that you can touch and use
It works by printing materials layer by layer until it becomes a solid object. It follows the exact shape, form, and appearance of the digital 3D model. There’s no need to trim anything at all. Not only does it allow you to save on materials but it also reduces your waste.
After the printing process, the finished product undergoes post-processing. This includes sanding and painting. The post-processing of 3D-printed houses is a bit different and requires more effort.
As of now, 3D printing is only capable of printing the frames and walls of the building. You still need to manually attach other house parts like doors and windows. You also need to take care of your electrical connection and plumbing.
The same processes take place when printing houses. Of course, it uses an enormous printer. During the layering process, the nozzle pours down a mixture of cement, sand, and other special additives layer by layer.
It follows the architect’s digital design, leaving space for doors, windows, and plumbing among others. After the printing process, workers take care of the finishing touches. They attach the roof, doors, and windows. They also fix the plumbing and electric connections to make the 3D-printed house livable.
Overall, 3D printing of houses can only take between 24 hours to five days, depending on the complexity and size of the building design.
The base materials for the 3D printing of houses are cement and sand. To make the structure long-lasting, constructors develop their own concrete mix using special additives. These extra materials vary from one constructor to the other.
Among the common examples of additives being used today are fiber, polymers, foam, soil, hydraulic lime, and other natural and synthetic materials.
Even if it’s still a new concept, 3D printing has already demonstrated its potential to improve antiquated construction processes in the housing industry.
3D printing is a promising solution to constructing more affordable houses, the Associated Press reported via U.S. News.
The article further explains that using this technology in home construction makes the process faster and more sustainable compared to traditional methods. The materials can also retain temperature better, so it will be less expensive to cool the home, especially in tropical countries like the Philippines.
Another reason why this technology is cost-effective is because of its use of materials. As explained above, 3D printing follows the exact shape and form of the design. This means you’re using only the materials you need to.
Once this process is fully developed, you only need two to three contractors on-site to monitor the printing process. That’s a huge saving on labor costs for you!
3D printing of houses can lower your company’s carbon footprint in two ways:
3D printing of houses removes the need for lumber and other construction materials like molds, nails, and drillers. Depending on the constructor, 3D printing can also make use of earthen materials to make the structure more durable and eco-friendly.
Because of its fewer materials, there’s also little need to transport materials from one place to the next. For instance, prefabricating building and building parts can reduce the number of lorry journeys required in constructing a house.
Most industries, especially manufacturing, accounting, and retail are already on their way towards digital transformation. They automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks so they can focus on higher-level tasks.
With 3D printing, you can modernize how you build houses
The 3D printing process is straightforward. It adds materials layer by layer until it achieves its desired appearance and durability, thus eliminating the need to drill, cut, and mill materials. The less time spent in building houses, the lower the carbon footprint it produces and the higher cost savings it can bring.
Several not for profit organizations utilize this technology to build affordable houses for the underprivileged.
For example, the non-profit organization New Story, in partnership with local social housing production, builds hundreds of homes in a tiny Mexican village. In a report from the New York Times, it only takes less than 24 hours to build a single unit. Despite its fast construction, it can tolerate extreme conditions. It had already withstood a magnitude 7.4 earthquake.
There is more to expect from 3D printing. In the future, it can be the disruptive technology that will change how construction companies work.
Are you looking for a reliable 3D printing service provider? MakerCarl is here for you. Work with our talented artists and get access to our 80+ 3D printers. We accept low-volume production of household products, spare parts, and more.
Contact us today for more information about our services.
We asked our 3D expert in the office his honest opinions on the Creality Ender 3 3D Printer. Is it the real deal?
3D Printing continues to grow and increase its market value. People are now seeing more potential than traditional manufacturing. Thus, opportunities in the 3D Printing business arise but before you talk to 3D printer suppliers. Check this out.