There have been some exciting projects conducted by some of the most innovative and best 3D printing business in the world, Generation3D for example have recently completed a large interior design project with a 3D printed bamboo lattice showing just how creative the industry can be. With 3D printing also being credited as an environmentally friendly alternative in the manufacturing industry, other large-scale projects have been sought after with some being made clear directives too and homes could be the next major industry on the list to see a 3D printed shift.
One approach and perhaps the least likely to grow in popularity is the pre-fab route, pre-fabricated homes have been around for quite some time, and they certainly cut down on build time and the number of construction teams needed to put them together but tend not to work so well as a 3D printed alternative as the parts are too big to be realistically 3D printed but may open the door to how other 3D printed approaches can work.
It’s often a misconception that things like resin and plastic are the only materials useable but concrete is also useable when it comes to 3D printing too and has already been used to print a 3D home. A large machine and a small team of workers can 3D print a concrete home in as little as 48 hours by layering strips of concrete mix, and videos of the process are very impressive showing how easy and low-impact the process is.
There are still some kinks to iron out for the process to be caught on as a much bigger option, there are some inconsistencies when it comes to printing a home for example as of now it isn’t as smooth as simply pouring a large concrete wall and that’s shown in the pattern from where it is printed – there’s also still a requirement to move some pre-fabricated pieces into place but despite this, the speed and the customizability of 3D printing a home helps to outweigh these downsides currently.
As directives are being put into place to have 3D printed homes being the main source of new builds in some parts of the world over the next decade, this will also lead to a much faster progression of the technologies and methods that are used to iron out these kinks and to get a much nicer finished product. With more eco-friendly materials being useable and with the ability to still adjust on the fly, it’s a very exciting opportunity, and could change the way homes are built in the future where space or customizability as well as time are key factors.