By now you’ve probably heard about the process of 3D printing, right? 3D printers are available on many websites around the world, and they range in price, from a cheap 3D printer you can keep on a desk, to huge, industrial models that can have a very impressive printing size. But 3D printers have also penetrated the world of construction, and can now print affordable and beautiful homes, which is a one more step in the direction of solving the housing crisis worldwide.
How does it work?
A construction 3D printer works according to the same principle as other FDM 3D printers. It has a very stable and rigid frame that supports the nozzle, which moves along this frame and lays the filament in thin layers, until the model is complete. The construction printer does this on a larger scale and uses concrete compounds as a filament. Some construction 3D printers also use a slightly different configuration. In this alternative solution, the nozzle is supported by a ‘handle’ that is supported by a single foothold. It spins around its axis and the nozzle is protruded to the necessary length. These printers are not designed to produce a square shape as a result, so the most efficient way to use them is to build in circular patterns. This gives the future house a futuristic and exceedingly whimsical look that will charm you the second you see it.
With the help of construction 3D printers, you can build faster, cut the construction cost and print houses in a matter of days, instead of months. The downside is that all the rest of the work is still done manually, meaning the plumbing, the wiring, the roofing, etc.
Is 3D printing worth it?
There’s a housing crisis going on all over the world nowadays, and not only in 3rd world countries. Construction 3D printing does offer some interesting solutions and we would be fools to overlook them. There are still many problems to be solved. Construction 3D printing is very young and lots of models are still being tested. But there’s a positive dynamic all the same. As we mentioned before, 3D printing significantly cuts the construction costs, to the point where you can build a full functional one-storey house for under 5000$, depending on the printer and the filament. This process definitely has the potential of revolutionising the field and helping solve the crisis.
As many technological breakthroughs that came before, 3D printing is still in its ‘beta test’, so there are going to be bugs along the way. But still it has proven itself to be a viable method of construction, with low costs and quick results.