3D printing houses; many parties are currently trying their luck with this new kind of architecture. In California there is a project called Contour Crafting which aims to one day 3D print an entire house in a single day. Well, last year a Chinese company did the exact thing that Contour Crafting was aiming at: Shanghai-based company WinSun 3D printed as many as ten houses in only a day. We initially doubted this story, but it turned out to be true. And even better: those houses only cost 4800 dollars to produce. If you link this technique to the concept of homelessness in the third world, you’ll understand the essence behind the technology: providing for housing for the poor. Now, the company once again amazes the world, as WinSun has 3D printed an entire apartment building with 6 floors as well as a villa.
And again, it sounds hard to believe, isn’t it? However, this is – again – a true thing. The apartment building – which is 1,100 square meters large – is located at the Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu, an east Chinese province. In this same park you can see the villa. This giant house has a magnificent appearance, and does not at all looks as if it is 3D printed. And that is the big goal behind such projects: to make the houses look as if they are handcrafted, instead of physical visualizations of 3D models. WinSun managed to do it again and therefore the Chinese firm can be seen as the leading company in 3D printed housing projects.
WinSun started the building process – as is usual – on the computer, using a self-made CAD drawing, and they used this file for a giant 3D printer which was 20 feet tall, 33 feet wide and 132 feet long. This 3D printer printed out all elements separately, using a self-designed and patented ink which appears to be a composite of concrete, sand, fiberglass and a hardening agent – WinSun aims to produce houses using recycled materials, and wants to build on a greener world. The company fabricated the walls and other parts of the houses offsite using a diagonal reinforced print pattern after which they placed them next to each other. In order to strengthen up the building, they placed beam columns as well as steel rebar within the walls so space would be saved for pipe lines, doors and windows.
If machines can do the job, then what do you need people for anymore? That seems like a legit question, as such a technique requires 80 percent less labor. But aside from the lack of labor, what are the other benefits of this modern approach to building houses? Well, as the company mentions itself, WinSun can save 60 percent of the materials which are normally needed in order to construct a home. These houses can be made 30 percent faster than regular kinds of buildings.
Take a look at some available images:
Credits images: WinSun.