Feb 09, 2023

The Future of 3D Printing in Construction Industry


Responding to increasing commodity prices, such as timber and steel, builders and construction businesses postponed or halted projects. Several builders may have desired to use a different material or building approach to save money on development. 3D printing the building is a new construction approach that might help save costs and shorten project duration.

Some people believe that 3D printers are only used to create miniature components and pieces. On the other hand, Larger printers have enabled 3D printing technology to develop motors, footwear, boats, and residences.

3D printing in building construction might be helpful to the property industry. Various firms are exploring the technology to create residences and office towers worldwide. Metal, concrete, grains, sand, and adjacent ground are among the resources they utilize to construct their structures.

The industry’s potential for 3D printing is enormous, yet it has not been realized. The future appears to be promising. Other developments in this field are also advancing at a quick pace. Given so, what might the individuals anticipate witnessing in the building business in the next few years? Let’s find out!
Also read: Construction Industries Trends and Innovations

3D Printing Technologies Used by the Construction Industry

At present, there may be a few choices for employing 3D printing in the construction industry. Discussed below are a few of them:

Robotic Arm Extruders

Contour Crafting invented this method of creating a structure by applying concrete layer after layer with the help of a robotic arm extruder. The frames are set up to allow the mechanical arm to operate. The robot will create the home layer after layer by injecting concrete mix from the injector.

The technique is frequently the primary cause why renowned 3D printing technology wishes to construct XL constructions. Concrete takes a long time to solidify and might be very heavy. The business employs a unique concrete mix with quick-setting qualities for such reasons. The corporation is keeping the advancement of its idea under wraps.

Sand 3D Printing

Enrico Dini, an Italian architect, constructs structures out of sand layers rather than concrete. He did this by designing a 3D printer of D-shape with a printer head that shoots droplets of binding substance onto the sand layer to solidify it. The equipment can print structures up to 6 cubic meters in size.

The metal 3D printers also use the same procedure.

Metal Technology

The Dutch firm MX3D created Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing for buildings such as bridges that bear more tension. The team used a mechanized robot and a welding device to transform everything into a 3D printing machine to create their goods. The robot considers 3D printing metallic objects in a 6-axis configuration.

The Advantages of 3D Printing in the Construction Industry

In the construction industry, 3D printing has a promising prospect for increasing efficiency in a variety of ways, including the ones listed below:

Faster Construction

3D printing has so far demonstrated that technology can construct a home or structure from scratch in only a few days. That’s a lot less time than traditional construction, which might take months or even years to complete a commercial structure.

Reduction of Waste

As per Construction Dive, global construction waste now adds up to more than a billion tons per year, and this quantity is predicted to jump by 2025

Although 3D printing will not successfully overcome all or most of the difficulties associated with building debris, it can assist. That is because 3D printing technology is an additive manufacturing technique that only employs the amount of material required to create a structure.

When combined with other waste-reduction procedures and construction approaches such as lean construction, the possibility of a zero-waste building becomes even more plausible.

Moderating Human Error

Every day, well over 5,000 people lose their lives in the workplace, as per OSHA. Worker deaths and injuries are likely to reduce if 3D printing is used in the workplace since construction becomes more controllable and automated.

The Barriers of 3D Printing in the Construction Industry

Given the success and promise of 3D printing in building projects, numerous problems may prevent the innovation from becoming widely used. Let’s look at a couple of these issues in more detail below:

Exorbitant prices

The exorbitant expense of owning or leasing such equipment makes it less attractive. Additionally, the logistics required in bringing these massive 3D printers to the job site adds to the barriers to the broader use of 3D printers. Furthermore, they are expensive, and the price does not include supplies or maintenance.

Many construction experts are finding it difficult to afford the expense of owning a 3D printing machine.

Existence of Labor Shortage

Construction is expanding, and competent employees are in short supply. The primary issue is now that there aren’t many of them to go around.

3D printing necessitates a more specialized set of skills that would demand a smaller and more restricted pool of candidates even with the labor deficit. The labor shortage faced by the construction industry is already an issue and finding competent individuals might be more difficult in the coming years.

Quality Control

Weather, environmental, and other elements might contribute to 3D printing in building construction becoming a bust rather than a success. Furthermore, quality monitoring in the construction industry is already a difficult task. Effectiveness in 3D printing might become a costly disaster if it is not regularly controlled and managed by actual humans.

The Road Ahead

Humanity might use 3D printers to travel to the moon or other heavenly bodies. NASA has announced the ‘3D Printed Habitat Challenge,’ which will investigate technology for building dwellings in space, including Mars and Moon.

Although bold, it would be too soon to say if 3D printing will be a feasible option. Nevertheless, we can predict that 3D printers in the building will become a significant worldwide force. As a result, people have to wait and watch how well the world responds to this technology in the upcoming future.

Also read: Construction Industries Trends and Innovations

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