The buzzword of 2015 (and now 2016): 3D Printing.
The construction industry is buzzing with innovations and developments, and it is imperative as industry professionals to keep up to date with the trends to make your business on the cutting edge of the competition. 3D printing is the next step for the construction industry. 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing; it is the process of building an object by joining materials layer upon layer from 3D model data. It could make all the difference between you, and the next bidder.
Other industries are using 3D printing for everything from automobiles, aerospace engineering, to even manufacturing organs for the medical industry. It is making waves in a variety of industries, and construction is most definitely the next. So, what is your company going to do about it?
3D printing will improve quality, reduce costs and increase flexibility. Here is how you can harness that for the development of your company.
Reduce Costs and Increase Flexibility
According to Business Insider, a Chinese company named Winsun built ten 3D printed houses in just one day. The reported cost for each: just $5,000. This shows the enhanced flexibility and productivity that 3D printing has to offer construction companies.
Structural components that are made via 3D printing, otherwise known as “concrete crafting,” use less material than the same components made using normal concrete forming techniques. Whereas curved concrete structures that are poured into forms are solid, those made via concrete crafting can be hollow, allowing space for essential building services right inside the structural elements of the building.
Currently, 3D printers build structures layer by layer. But at USC in California, Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis is pushing the fabrication process one step further with what he calls “contour crafting.” He hopes to develop a gigantic 3D printer, able to print whole house in a single run, from its structure to its electrical and plumbing conduits. This would be a huge step toward reducing labor costs, and increasing production.
A team from the Netherlands-based Eindhoven University of Technology is jumping into the trend with their concrete 3D printer, a massive crane-like machine able to print concrete objects in dimensions up to 11 x 5 x 4 meters. The project, which goes by the name ‘3D Concrete Printing’ (3DCP), is an extremely innovative and well backed endeavor. The expansive range of the concrete printer makes it possible to create construction-grade objects from uniquely designed 3D models, implicating some extreme flexibility from the traditional construction methods.
How will your company choose to adopt new trends? Let us know what you think in the comments.