3D printing technology has been used in the construction industry for the first time, with 3D-printed houses being erected in Shanghai, China recently.
Ten full-sized houses were erected in the Qingpu district of Shanghai earlier this month, all without using the traditional brick and cement method as 3D printing technology was put through its paces.
The houses were constructed using waste material, which was pumped out into layers. Overall, the properties were said to have been created for under £2,974 each.
The buildings themselves have impressed and do not look out of place, particularly when looking at them from a distance. On closer inspection, you can see the layers of the walls where they have used 3D printing technology to ‘build’ the houses.
The wall bodies were printed out by 3D printers, which were developed by the Suzhou Yingchuang Science and Trade Development Co., Ltd. in East China’s Jiangsu province.
President of the company, Ma Yihe, said: “We can print buildings to any digital design our customers bring us. It’s fast and cheap.”
“To obtain natural stone, we have to employ miners, dig up blocks of stone and saw them into pieces. This badly damages the environment.
“But with the 3D printing, we recycle mine tailings into usable materials. And we can print buildings with any digital design our customers bring us. It’s fast and cheap.”#
Currently, quality checks are conducted on each house as it is printed out, however, it is understood that much more stringent checks will be needed should people begin living in the structures in the future.
Ma Yihe has revealed that he hopes to use the 3D printers to build skyscrapers and admitted that he will be using the 3D printing technology again on the company’s next project – building a whole villa.
The groundbreaking 3D printing technology obviously still has a long way to go before it is regularly used to mass produce buildings, with tests in fire resistance, internal structures and durability needed. However, the 3D print revolution continues and it’s getting exciting!