3-D printing technology first started to gain mainstream attention several years back, and it has since disrupted (in a good way) various industries, including construction.
In March 2017, the audience at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was treated for a surprise. Aside from the blossoming displays and demonstration of skills by the countries’ leading landscape and floral designers, revealed during the five-day event was a 3-D-printed treehouse that exhibited the potential of mankind’s ability to full-scale houses and other structures in the future.
Image source: industrytap.com
Even before the show in Australia, 3-D printing in the construction industry had already been experimented on in other countries. In China, 3-D-printed concrete houses have been built. In Dubai, fully-functioning offices have been erected using 3-D printing. Even in California, contour-crafted buildings have already been designed using the technology.
While it may be years away from seeing 3-D-printed homes and buildings on the ground, the technology has been useful in the industry for various reasons.
Image source: inhabitat.com
It has boosted efficiency in structural designs because creating prototypes is much easier now. Translating drawings and sketches from software into a physical model can be done more quickly. Even prefabrication of components used in construction projects has become more cost-effective, thanks to 3-D printing technology.
Reddy Kancharla has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction quality assurance. See more discussions on the industry by following this Twitter page.