Although 3D printing was initially created for product prototyping purposes, its use for 3d printing building construction has increased over the years. Since its inception, 3D printing has found many applications in various industries like medical, and aerospace.
The construction industry is not known to lag when it comes to new technologies. 3D printing building construction involves printing building walls and processing cement. This technology has, together with building information modeling (BIM), reshaped the construction industry. But what does the future hold for 3D printing in the construction industry?
WHAT IS 3D PRINTING?
Before we dive into the future of the construction industry, we must refresh our minds on what 3D printing is. Another name for 3D printing is Additive Manufacturing (AM), which is the process of making three dimensional solid objects by adding layers of material to previous materials until an object is created.
With technology becoming more advanced with every passing year, 3D printing could not have emerged at a better time for 3D printing companies. Manufacturing firms offering 3D printing services are at an advantage of maintaining profitability.
3D PRINTING IN CONSTRUCTION
3D printing has found many uses in the construction industry. 3D printing building construction entails 3D printing construction components as well as printing an entire building. The information needed to design a structure makes 3D printing building construction suitable for the building and construction industry.
Presently, 3D printing building construction technology has found applications in some sectors of the construction industry. Sectors, where 3D printing are used, are;
- Robotic arm technology
- Metal technology
- Sand 3D printing
Studies have shown that 3D printing benefits the construction industry in several ways. For instance, 3D printing building construction is faster and more accurate.
BENEFITS OF 3D PRINTING IN CONSTRUCTION
One might wonder, why do we need more technology in the building and construction industry, as we already have stable buildings and awesome designs.
Here is why. Listed below are benefits of 3D printing construction;
LESS PRODUCTION TIME
3D printed structures are completed rather faster than non-3D printed structures. That’s because the 3D printing construction machines are very fast, some work as fast as printing six hundred to eight hundred square feet in twenty-four hours. That’s awesome, isn’t it?
Another reason 3D printed structures are completed fast is that 3D printing construction machines are fully automated. That implies there is no room for human error, hence faster production time.
This 3D-printed home has been created in China in just 45 days and it is sturdy enough to withstand an earthquake.
Beijing architecture firm
LITTLE OR NO MATERIAL WASTAGE
3D printing building construction is known to record almost zero material waste. This is because 3D printers, for example, robotic arms and 3D printers, use exactly the amount of materials they need, hence eliminating any room for wastage of material.
FUTURE OF 3D PRINTING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
As we can see, 3D printing affects the construction industry in positive ways. 3D printing, together with BIM technologies, helps to manage the whole construction process, from the start of the project till the end. With 3D printing, structures can be 3D printed at a fraction of the regular cost and time, and they’re also eco-friendlier thanks to the minimum material waste.
That being said, it’s safe to concur with experts predicting that 3D printing would play a much more important role in the future of the construction industry.