24 April 2014 — China’s WinSun Engineering Design decoration Company has successfully utilised 3D printing to build 10 full-size 200 square metre prototype homes in a single day using 100 per cent recycled materials, according to 3Ders.org.
The raw materials comprised recycled construction waste, industrial waste and tailings, which are combined to create construction concrete. This was then extruded by giant 3D printers 150 metres long by 10m wide by 6.65m high in a layer by layer process.
WinSun is reported as saying it has been developing the system and its materials for years, and now has plans to build 100 recycling factories in China, one every 300km, to collect and transform construction and industrial waste into materials for 3D printing through special handling, processing and separation technology.
Currently the company holds 77 national patents for construction materials, including glass fibre reinforced gypsum and glass fibre reinforced cement.
The article quoted WinSun CEO Ma YiHe as saying 3D printing technology will save construction companies up to 50 per cent on construction costs and eliminate construction waste.
The estimated cost of each of the houses was US$4800, and the company hopes this low cost and the low labour requirements involved in assembling the 3D components will make this an effective option for affordable housing.
The 3D design software enables the printed building to incorporate the necessary penetrations and allowances for the addition of all building fitout including hydraulics, insulation, glazing and doors.
The initial 10 houses are located in Shanghai, with a further full-size display building planned for the Hi-tech Zone, Qingdao International Sculpture Park, to showcase 3D printing technologies, which will contain displays and host public workshops demonstrating the technology.
- See our article Green MashUp: is 3D printing the next construction revolution?