Fancy living in a 3D printed house? What used to be a far-fetched pipe dream might actually come to fruition sooner than you think. A Chinese company named WinSun had claimed to have printed 10 concrete houses in under 24 hours, in 2014. The company's concrete 3D printer has only been seen by employees. Therefore, there was no concrete evidence that the company factually printed the houses in under 24 hours, or even printed them at all.
As 3D printing technology progressed, the introduction of live, on site printings have increased. Dubai has printed their own office cubicle, in a construction project that took 17 days. Now, another Chinese company claims to have printed a 400-square-meter villa in 45 days. The print happened completely on-site and manufactured in one place. The print is an encouraging look into the future of 3D printing houses which have been proven to be faster in construction that regular house building. The company behind the print is HuaShang Tengda Industry and Trade.
WinSun printed their parts off-site in 2014, whereas Huashang have completely printed and erected their villa out in the open. The company used C30 grade concrete with their concrete printing technology to construct the foundation and the walls.
An employee for Huashang Tengda said: "Our house 3D printing equipment combines four seperate systems: an electronic ingredient formulation system, a concrete mixing system, a transmission system and a 3D printing system. We have used a traditional reinforced concrete material to 3D print the villa, without any additives. The material does not need to be specially customized, so users can simply use locally-produced cement to greatly reduce material transportation costs."
3D printing now results in quicker build times, less labour costs, accurate structural design and efficiency across the board. 3D printing will irrevocably change civil engineering and construction for years to come as the technology is continually improved. Entire villas, offices and more are being printed, what else could we see printed in the upcoming years? The skies the limit, it seems, especially in Singapore ; the country has begun designing skyscrapers that are bound for 3D printing. Additionally, Dubai aims to print 25 percent of building projects by 2030.