How will 3D printing affect the construction industry?

3D-printing – it’s being used to fabricate almost anything. Furniture, car parts, guns and even replacement organs.

So why not explore its use in the construction industry?

Firstly, 3D printing is considerably more eco-friendly than current traditional construction methods. The materials and processes used mean less waste during the build phase, and the ability to recycle + re-use them for new uses. The ink, made from construction waste such as concrete, fiberglass and sand, is also flexible, self-insulating, and resistant to strong earthquakes.

Then there’s the reduced build-time. Chinese company WinSun claims to have taken just 24 hours to produce 10 3D printed homes. Learn more at http://www.yhbm.com/index.php?siteid=3

Whilst wrapping your head around that, even more impressive is NASA’s plan to use 3D printing in it’s extra-terrestrial explorations.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2015/piece-by-piece-nasa-team-moves-closer-to-building-a-3-d-printed-rocket-engine.html

And yet, like with any advancements made, there are always some potential disadvantages.

  • Will there be reduced employee numbers in the industry, since the 3D printer does most of the work?
  • Transportation – getting the printers for large in situ components to and from the site,
  • Storage of the printer on site,
  • Higher risks – any errors in the digital model can result in problematic issues on site during the printing/construction phase,
  • Would conventional product manufacturing companies and plant renting companies suffer, as their products are no longer required?

Regardless, construction sites will soon feature more technology. 3D-printing, robots and drones – that’s what’s heading our way soon. To build more economically. To build faster. To build with better quality.

Revolutionary and innovative. This is certainly exciting to think about and we will be investigating this more – stay tuned!

Find out more about how 3D-printing will affect your industry:
http://betterbusinesses.co.nz/how-will-3d-printing-change-your-workplace/