– China: Recycled Concrete Houses 3D-Printed in 24 Hours (Business Insider, April 24, 2014):
A Chinese construction firm based in Shanghai has succeeded in building 10 houses each measuring 200 square metres in 24 hours by using an enormous 3D printer.
The houses are all eco-friendly and constructed from 3D-printed building blocks made from layers of recycled construction waste and glass fibre and mixed with cement.
Each home costs less than £3,000 to build.
WinSun Decoration Design Engineering spent 20 million Yuan (£1.9m) and 12 years to develop a 3D printer 6.6 metres tall, 10 metres wide and 150 metres long.
Large 3D printers have been in existence for several years and have been used to make plane parts and prototypes.
“We purchased parts for the printer overseas, and assembled the machine in a factory in Suzhou. Such a new type of 3D-printed structure is environment-friendly and cost-effective,” said the 3D-printer’s inventor, Winsun CEO Ma Yihe.
Winsun used architectural design software AutoCAD Architecture to not only plan the building but also to calculate tracing paths that took into account plumbing, electrical lining, insulation materials and windows, that would be added once the main structure was built.
The company holds 77 national patents for its construction materials.
Ma’s office building, which covers an area of 10,000 square metres, was also constructed with 3D-printed walls and took a month to build from an assembly line of four 3D printers.
“Industrial waste from demolished buildings is damaging our environment, but with 3D-printing, we are able to recycle construction waste and turn it into new building materials,” said Ma.
“This would create a much safer environment for construction workers and greatly reduce construction costs.”