One could hardly have imagined that once upon a time, as dot matrix printers hammered out an ink-soaked cloth ribbon onto flimsy paper, that one day we would be faced with the evolution of
The one storey
The construction industry is currently one of the world’s biggest users of resources; in the UK alone it accounts for 60% of all raw materials consumed. The concrete 3D printed house, the first of its kind within the EU, can be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere. To that end, the advantages offered by 3D printed buildings have been classified into a four-fold objective.
Sustainability: they offer a sustainable alternative to the traditional construction process, reducing material waste and allowing
Flexibility: they also offer greater flexibility in the building shape, allowing engineers and architects to generate more complex structures, such as double curved walls, at a lower cost. In addition, the process allows for on-site construction with few limitations regarding site location.
Affordability: 3D printing is less expensive than traditional construction due to the more efficient use of materials and to a more structured and faster building process.
Accuracy: 3D printing offers a direct transfer of information from the 3D design model into construction operations, therefore it drastically reduces building inconsistencies and potential mistakes.
A robot from Cybe Construction was used to print the walls, while the roof, windows and doors were completed afterwards. Italcementi, one of the world’s largest cement suppliers, provided advice for the base concrete mix used during the printing operations.
“This building represents a milestone for 3D printing applied to construction. The industry is fast moving towards increased levels of automation. Robots are opening up a number of possibilities for realising the next generation of advanced buildings,” said Luca Stabile, Italian Building Practice Leader at Arup.
In a world rapidly starting to resemble science fiction, we may soon find automation resolves one of humanities desperate issues – housing. Housing for low income, housing for refugees, emergency housing, housing for those affected by natural disasters… The applications of this process are endless and incredibly exciting.
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