This method saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, cuts down on time by 50-70 percent, and cuts labor costs from 50-80 percent
At this rate, could a giant 3D printer one day spit out an entire city?
Many city dwellers have complained about new buildings looking increasingly fabricated. But what if they actually were, with no human hands involved? WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co., a Chinese architectural materials company with more than 70 patents to its name, has now come up with a way to construct a 12,000 square-foot home – a kind of McMansion – out of 3D printed blocks.
A special technique has resulted in a concrete building that, while requiring paint to be attractive, still manages to be perfectly functional.
The printer that created these buildings is 105 feet long, 33 feet wide, and 21 feet tall, larger than most rooms, but it works on basically the same principles as one of MakerBot’s printers. It uses a nozzle to pump a mix of concrete, sand and fiberglass (which are recycled; the company’s name seems to translate to ‘Surplus’) onto a flat substrate, slowly accumulating into a tough material that can be buffed to create a smoother edge and/or overlaid with various traditional-looking decorative elements. A zigzag design inside the pieces helps reinforce them, similar to corrugated cardboard.