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Tomorrow’s Construction Today: 3D Printing

Back in April I wrote about new building innovations. I touched on the new modular build homes to be built in London, and the “out of this world” skyscrapers that are tethered to asteroids. But such innovative forms of constructions are not alone. Nor are they yet to begin.

Three years ago the online version of The Guardian ran a story about 3D printed houses in China, and in March of this year another online paper published an article on a Russian 3D printed dwelling which took only 24 hours to build.

Time and Cost Effective Builds

Mark Molloy’s article on the Russian 3D printed house not only highlighted the development in construction, but also drew attention to the short construction time “the walls of the building were printed and painted in just 24 hours”. What makes this particular build so different is the fact that the whole construction was done in-situ with the use of a mobile printer; where previous 3D constructions had been manufactured in parts off-site and then transported and built at site.

Nikita Chen-yun-tai, the inventor of the mobile printer used, explained how the bulkiness of previous portal-type printers had led him to develop a new mobile printer by “upgrading a construction crane design.”

The Benefit

At this stage, with the 3D printing dwelling mainly comprising of a single room one-story building, it is hard to imaging many new construction sites popping up across the world. However, there are potential areas where such a construction could prove an ideal solution: emergency dwellings.

In areas that have been wiped out by freak weather, earthquakes or even an unmanageable influx of immigration or quite simply villages and towns where current living conditions consist of unsafe shanty-town like structures it is easy to see how such quick, strong, safe 3D printed houses would benefit potential occupants. It gives one food for thought.

Conference  - Tomorrow’s Construction: Robots, Drones, and Printed Buildings

In July The Construction Industry Council (CIC), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) are jointly organising a Technical Seminar entitled “Tomorrow’s Construction: Robots, Drones, and Printed Buildings”. The event looks at what the construction industry needs regarding a more productive approach. Technologies and tools such as unmanned aerial vehicles, tiling robots, 3D printers, etc. are increasingly available worldwide to address the challenges, and these areas are covered, with renowned technical experts discussing what the future of construction holds when applying various automated techniques in actual construction sites.

For more information and registration for the Hong Kong event please visit: https://goo.gl/forms/D53hBa7UWoxPOHa93

 

Sharlene Britton
Office Manager

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