World’s first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China

World’s first 3D-printed apartment building
constructed in China

A Chinese company has successfully 3D printed a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre villa from a special print material.

3dprint-china

Although the company hasn’t revealed how large it can print pieces, based on photographs on its website, they are quite sizeable. A CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material “much like how a baker might ice a cake,” WinSun said. The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation.

This process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and can decrease production times by between 50 and 70 percent, and labour costs by between 50 and 80 percent. In all, the villa costs around $161,000 to build.

And, using recycled materials in this way, the buildings decrease the need for quarried stone and other materials — resulting in a construction method that is both environmentally forward and cost effective.

In time, the company hopes to use its technology on much larger scale constructions, such as bridges and even skyscrapers.