30 Nov How Bright is the Future of 3D Printing in Construction?
Architecture and the construction industry have a huge responsibility these days as the climate crisis increases and the need for sustainable paths becomes more and more tangible. Among many solutions that are being tried and perfected, 3D printing in construction has arrived, raising several issues and questions that are worth being discussed. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of this alternative.
Global construction is presumably set to grow almost 100% in the next decade. This is due to the popularization of the technology and the growing need for more accessible and sustainable ways of construction. If this is the case, we can hope it helps the industry sort several challenges that it currently faces. It might be a way to relieve the housing crisis, to create shelters for disaster regions and to provide affordable and sustainable buildings for underdeveloped or overpopulated regions.
3D printing would ideally lower construction costs as it can provide a more accurate calculation of material, thus reducing waste and saving both money and time. Some developers even assure that they will be able to print whole houses in just 24 hours, which would be a great advance for emergency situations and even for real estate evolution. This seems particularly useful for projects formed by identical structures, such as affordable housing, offices and hotels.
While this might all seem very promising, there is much left to be solved within 3d printing for construction. The diversification of materials is yet to be perfected, since most of the machines that are currently used are restricted to concrete. If the technology can manage to include materials from each region, the projects will be even more sustainable and thus more attractive for investors. The architectural flexibility is still pretty limited when using 3D printers: durable and usable buildings often implement not only different materials but also diverse techniques. The ability of 3D printing to reach these goals is still to be proven.
It’s still too early to know if this technology will be a true game-changer for the construction industry. There’s still much to be done, rehearsed and perfected. Meanwhile, we can celebrate the attempts that several agents in the industry are making in order to build in a more responsible and ethical way.
Do you know any projects using 3D printing? Share your opinions with us, we would love to read them! WE RECOMMEND YOU TO READ Biophilic Design: In Search for Natural Connection
- “3D printed buildings push construction boundaries”, Jll,
- Jack Balderrama Morley, “Architects: Here’s the Problem With 3D-Printed Buildings”, Architizer,