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The power of 3D printing

While the whole idea of 3D printed buildings has been knocking about for some time, the promise is becoming a reality with public and private buildings popping up around the world

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We're not in Kansas anymore!
We're not in Kansas anymore!

This week SCW strategic advisor and ambassador Rudy de Waele penned a piece about how buildings as we know them, and therefore by default, the look of cities, will transform, thanks to the power of 3D printing technologies.

 

While the whole idea of 3D printed buildings has been knocking about for some time, the promise is becoming a reality with public and private buildings popping up around the world.

 

The promise of this technology is mind blowing as is the impact for the construction industry. House building AM style (additive manufacturing) means lower materials and labour costs – Chinese company WinSun printed 10 full size houses in one day at a reported cost of just $5, 000 dollars each.

 

3D house building is cheaper because of the lower material and labour costs. You only use what your digital plans specify, and as the printer is doing the work, your workforce is reduced, slashing of course, health and safety issues. The use of sustainable materials ticks all the environmental boxes, while error in construction only occurs if there is an error in the original digital master. This process could provide housing for those on the planet who are impoverished.

 

3D printing is a bone fide digital disruptor – it’s arrival set to play havoc with construction jobs, and the conventional eco system supporting it.

 

But it is just one of the trends set to chop and shape the construction industry as we know it today. Last year Accenture published a full construction industry report, identifying seven trends of which emerging new technologies was one. The other six were:

  • Accelerated Globalisation
  • Urbanisation: Emergence of the megacity
  • Changing access to capital
  • War for talent
  • Energy and the need for broader, more efficient infrastructures
  • Higher standards of sustainable living

To paraphrase Dorothy, we really aren’t in Kansas anymore.

 

Melony Rocque

Editor

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