January 20, 2015
As my last post regarding the 3D printed houses is still fresh, the Chinese Company has made another upgrade, I would call it version 2.0. We all know that Moore's Law is very applicable to technology, it may do the same trick to 3D-printed structure. If you still recall the article, you may have some impression on the layer-cake like simple houses printed, this time, a more sophisticated villa is ready to refresh your memory.
(Previous post at http://thebimhub.com/en/2015/01/11/3d-printed-houses-why-not/#.VL30IEeUfB0)
Today, just ten months after the initial project, the company behind these 3D printed buildings, Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co, made a new announcement that will take 3D printed buildings to a whole new level: they have built the highest 3D printed building, a 5-storey residential house and the world's first 3D printed villa. The villa measures 1,100 square meters and even comes complete with internal and external decorations.
Now in their 12th year of business, WinSun holds 98 national patents for construction materials. Their experiences in construction have allowed them to truly innovate in the area of 3D printing technology. For example in the 2004 and 2005, the company developed a 3D printing spray nozzle and automatic material feeding system. Then, in 2008, WinSun printed the wall of an actual building.
Today's press conference attracted more than 300 building industry experts, investment bankers as well as media reporters. Ma Yi He, CEO of WinSun explained: the company's success is due to their unique and leading techniques. First is their exclusive 3D printing 'ink,' which is a mixture of recycled construction waste, glass fiber, steel, cement and special additives. According to Ma, waste from recycling construction and mine rest produces a lot of carbon emissions, but with 3D printing, the company has turned that waste into brand new building materials. This process also means that construction workers are at less risk of coming into contact with hazardous materials or work environments.
The second trick up their sleeve is the printer used to build the houses, which is 6.6 meters tall 10 meters wide, and 150 meters long. "This is the world's first continuous printing 3D printer, and the largest 3D house printer in the world." said Ma. The sheer size of the printer allows for a 10x increase in production efficiency. WinSun estimates that 3D printing technology can save between 30 and 60 percent of building materials and shortens production times by 50 to even 70 percent, while decreasing labor costs by 50 up to even 80 percent. Future applications include 3D printed bridges or tall office buildings that can be built right on site.
WinSun also uses architectural design software to integrate different designs and to meet the needs of various building structures, so they are not limited to just printing cookie-cutter houses. Ma hopes that with their 3D printing technology, they can subvert the commonly held image of a construction site: an extremely noisy, dusty area and an eyesore in almost any neighborhood. The dry construction method used by WinSun is clean, compact, and much more time efficient—without compromising quality.
WinSun also signed contracts with Winsun Global, is a joint venture consisting of Winsun and an American company. Over the next three years, they will set up factories in Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E, Qatar, Morocco, Tunisia and the United States and more than other 20 countries, in order to popularize 3D printing building. They also aim to – especially for the Middle East and Africa – to provide cheap and efficient homes for low-income families. The first series of 3D printing equipment are already set to be shipped abroad.
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