Is 3D Printing The Future Of Construction?

Posted: Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 10:44am 

We're always keen to look at changes, developments and improvements in the industry. We've told you about drones, eco-friendly building, but one of the really exciting ones is 3D printing. 

Despite what you might think, it's actually not a new thing. 3D printing was first developed in the 1980's, but back then it was difficult and expensive.

However, since 2000 it's become a lot more affordable which has meant it has become more of a viable option for the building trade. In 2004, at the University of South Carolina they printed the first 3D wall.The consultancy firm McKinsey estimates the technique could have an annual economic impact worth $550 billion by 2025.

How It Works

A 3D digital model is created of whatever you want to build. This is done either by computer-aided design (CAD) or (if you're lazy!) you can even use a 3D scanner.

The printer reads the design creates loads of different layers (either liquid, powder, or sheet material) which are joined or fused together to create the item. This means almost any shape to be created.

Benefits?

3D printing concrete saves time and money. According to a market forecaster SmarTech Publishing by the time 2027 rolls around the 3D-printed construction industry will be worth $40 billion. That's not bad, eh?!

So, how could it do that? 

Well, using 3D printing can reduce a 2 week job to potentially just 3-4 days.

Not only that, 3D printing uses fewer materials than traditional manufacturing processes. That also means reduced risks of injury at work. It also produces less waste, so the environmental impact is vastly reduced. In short, it's pretty nifty. 

Applications

How long have you got?! There is an unbelievable amount of ways this can be used from product design all the way through to engineering. 

In fact, estimates suggest that 20 commercial buildings around the world have been built using 3D printing so far. The first one was in the Danish capital Copenhagen, in 2017. However, Dubai is one of the leading places putting this new tech to the test and using it as much as possible. 

Even though it's in its infancy, watch out for 3D Printing in the construction industry because it looks like it could be one of the quickest developing sectors in our fast moving industry

 

So, the reality is, watch this space!? Could the future be 'printing' houses? Only time will tell

 

 

 

 

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