Today’s 3D printing technology is a wonder to behold. It has the ability to create anything from biscuits you can actually eat to 3D photos you can touch, and even prosthetic limbs you can wear. But, what about a structure you can actually live in? Can 3D printing do that?
The answer is yes.
The Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province in China houses the 3D-printed five-storey apartment building plus a 1,100sqm mansion, with decorative elements to boot.
A Shanghai-based construction company, Winsun, put 3D technology to the test through this project where it took them one day to print a single level of the structure, and an additional five days to put it all together – all while using a 150-metre 3D printer.
Using recycled construction waste as materials or “ink” made up of an assortment of components including steel, cement, and glass fibre, the construction firm utilised the printer to produce layers of construction material stacked one after the other, to create building blocks that are densely packed and durable.
All the materials were prefabricated at Winsun’s facility and were assembled complete with insulation and steel reinforcements that comply with office building standards. The mansion’s total build cost landed at $161,000.
According to Winsun, their technology can help reach savings of up to 60% when it came to the materials usually needed to build a home. This type of project also saves time as property printing is estimated to take around just 30% of the time it takes for traditional construction to complete. And since 3D printing lowers the need for labor by around 80%, construction utilising the technology becomes more affordable and less risky to contractors.
Overall, the 3D–printed structure is wind resistant and has a good and stable foundation capable of withstanding foundational disruption as in the case of earthquakes. It is a truly viable means of residential property construction that is affordable and sustainable.
If you are looking for a new home, enlist the services of your nearest residential real estate broker and get first dibs on the best residential properties in your chosen neighbourhood today.