3D printing in architecture

http://gizmodo.com/this-bizarre-concrete-beam-is-the-smartest-use-of-3d-pr-1723340656

This Bizarre Concrete Beam Is the Smartest Use of 3D Printing In Architecture Yet 

This Bizarre Concrete Beam Is the Smartest Use of 3D Printing In Architecture Yet

I’m going to put this as gently as possible: 3D printing entire buildings, right down to the fixtures, doesn’t make a ton of sense yet.

It’s an exciting vision of the future, of course, but it’s also a myopic one—we’re forcing an emerging technology to fit into the mold of our existing world. While plenty of companies have demonstrated it can be done, that doesn’t mean it should be done. A group of Italian engineers and researchers want to prove that 3D printing individual structural unit makes more financial and environmental sense. The group, called WASProject, originally set out to design a printer that could produce full homes. “WASP was born with the dream of printing houses with 100% natural materials,” the company writes today. “But wisdom teaches that extremism is never a good thing.”

This Bizarre Concrete Beam Is the Smartest Use of 3D Printing In Architecture Yet 

Now, WASProject focuses on printing specific pieces of buildings and bridges—the structural beams—that usually require the most heavy and CO2-producing concrete. “Concrete is bad for the planet,” the group explains. “A ton of cement generates a ton of Co2.”

The group’s designs get rid of any redundant materials in a beam. With smart software modeling, they say they’re able to cut down on the amount of CO2 produced by a structural beam by 50 percent. The product of their research was unveiled today, and they describe it as “the world’s first 3D printed reinforced beam,” though other groups have certainly been pursuing similar ideas.

The fact that it’s lighter and less expensive isn’t the most important thing about the design—it’s the fact that is uses less concrete. Concrete is the most-used artificial material on Earth, aGizmodo’s Maddie Stone wrote yesterday, and it’s now a $100 billion market. In countries that are developing cities very rapidly, it’s the singular building block: One popular stat, for example, holds that China has used more concrete in the past three years than the US did in the entire 20th century. And unfortunately, making the stuff contributes to as much as 7 percent of global CO2 emissions.

While printing full houses also has the potential to cut back on waste, by using construction refuse for “ink,” for example, the technology is still too nascent to be used widely anytime soon, or in any structure besides simplistic one-story homes. WASP’s beam, on the other hand, is already being stress-tested at the University of Naples’ engineering lab. One day, it could be integrated into conventional structures and skyscrapers, without the architects or developers needing to design a fully printed building.

It’s still a long ways from being adopted by the industry—this is still just an experiment. But it’s far less of a pipe dream than a full 3D-printed house. You might be waiting on that for a while.

gizmodo.com

by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan | 8/11/15 11:00am

The World’s tallest building!

Another Sensational Milestone in the World of 3D Printing – The World’s Tallest Building Built from Recycled Construction Waste

http://goo.gl/IUVlcQ

image from http://mp.weixin.qq.com

A Chinese company has used 3D printers to create five-story homes using construction waste. The project architects say this is the world’s tallest building constructed using this technology.
The new project is the brainchild of Shanghai-based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co, who also managed to use 3D printing technology to create a 1,100 square meters villa in the Suzhou industrial park of China’s Jiangsu Province. It is not known how comfortable the buildings will be to live in, but one cannot argue with the cost, the villa complete with interior decoration cost a little over $160,000.
image from http://mp.weixin.qq.com
According to the 3D printing website 3ders.org, it took the company a day to print one level of the building and another five to put it together. In order to undertake the mammoth task, the company used a massive 150-meter long and 6 meter high printer. They use recycled building waste for the materials or ‘ink’ which also contain glass fiber, steel and cement and special additives. The process works by secreting layers of construction material on top of each other to create densely packed building blocks.
image from www.yhbm.com

The company says the buildings are perfectly safe to live in, and are expanding their horizons and hope to build housing blocks as tall as 12 stories in the future.

WinSun estimates 3D printing technology can be very savvy: it may save between 30 and 60 percent on building materials with costs slashed by 50 percent up to 80 percent. The firm said that it may also shorten production time by 50 to 70 percent.

The company has been building up a reputation. In April, it managed to print 10 full-size houses in a day.

References: