3D Printing – the Disruptive Construction Method

May 14, 2017

3D printing (commonly referred to additive manufacturing), the new innovative construction method for building materials, a process involves converting a virtual design created or an existing object model scanned from digital file into a solid three dimensional object, including construction materials for buildings.

 

 

Cost Saving

When there is more automation, prices will drop. At least 50% of construction cost will be saved in term of labour, machining and material especially on the structural part. Most of the materials now can be printed in the manufacturing plant before deliver to the site for assembly, 3D printed buildings are extremely important for undeveloped countries and lower income people.

 

Consistent Level of Expectation

Allow individual who is not architect or no related experience to be able to achieve same level of expectation with professionals in construction. With simplified 3D modelling software and alternative building method (3D printer as an assistant), they are capable to express the designs into 3D mockup unit or even an actual scaled building. 3D printer has higher accuracy which it translate a design file directly into actual object.

 

Better Design

Architect can now have a flexibility in design shape and excellent strength where 3D printing offers curvilinear structure as a substitute of rectilinear form. By applying concrete and its composite mixture in the structural design, 3D printing is definitely a better choice comparing to rectangular form where the later limits the potential of design. Customized building or façade design can be created in an inexpensive way and in a rapider time, complex figures can be done without affecting the integrity in structural.

 

Green Building

3D printing construction lowers down the usage of scaffoldings, formworks and structural materials cost especially timber and steel based material. Decreased lumber and steel application will help the environment by reducing the deforestation, energy used in harvesting and further process them.

 

On-time Project

This advantage is the same with Industrialized Building System (IBS) which building materials and components are prefabricated in a controlled environment or factory, 3D printing building method allows prompt and accurate construction schedule control.

 

Superior Project Planning

Design is one of the most crucial stage of project, applying 3D printing enable them to build a model efficiently and economically (compared to conventional way to appoint third party to assemble a 3D model, which is expensive and time consuming). The visual pre-presentation of the project allows builder to spot issues quickly and get it resolved to avoid unnecessary delays.

 

Lower Risk

Developer can print a test prototype before actual investment happens which risks are being mitigated, it takes only hours to convert a CAD file into a model, higher productivity than a traditional way of building prototype which might delays the decision’s making and market the project out. From an architectural idea to mix different materials, prototype testing to actual production, it may be time consuming and pricy; with 3D printing (compatible with diverse materials, glass, metals, ceramics etc.), it will mitigate the challenges face in validating the designs.

 

Less for More

3D printed object can achieve up to 60 percent lighter, but can be stable and solid. Additive manufacturing produces lesser waste and consume minimum energy, hence 3D printing construction method is highly energy-efficient and sustainable.