3D printing for construction

3D printing could transform the construction industry by reducing construction waste, as well as cutting project time and labor costs. In recent years, engineering research teams have been experimenting with using 3D printing for buildings. Huge over-sized printers use a special concrete and composite mixture that is much thicker than regular concrete, so that it sets on its own. The technology may also offer more creative approaches to design, for example, using curved structures that can be hollow inside, and the lower materials usage could make this a much less expensive method of construction. A company called Countor Crafting was the first to use 3D printers for constructing buildings, building a 2,500-square-foot house in less than one day.

And a 3D-printing company based in Amsterdam has developed a robotic 3D printer that aims to build a bridge over a canal in the heart of the city. The printer combined with a welder will be able to “draw” fast-setting metal structures and print the bridge out of steel.

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