Bricks, mortar, sand, mud, stone, etc. are the components of constructing a building since ages. Hundreds of labors are also hired to put these elements together step by step. Our architectural history speaks out loud about the monuments that are raised with traditional methods. Now the technological development has changed the scenario – machines and robots are equipped to build houses in much lesser time. The 3D Printing technique was invented by Chuck Hall. It was also called stereolithography as the technique involved molecule linking through laser lights.
The idea was to keep layering repeatedly with a solid material to have a 3D printing effect, somewhat similar to printing with ink on paper. The materials include plastic, resin, wood, bamboo, and stone.
Houses are now built using 3D technology. The houses are constructed by depositing material in layers or by cutting away the material from a solid block (additive and subtractive method). It requires high-level architectural knowledge to get the desired output. The advantages include faster construction, increased accuracy, minimal waste material, decreased labor charges. It was developed in early 1990 and was coined ‘Construction 3D Printing’ by James B Gardiner. The elements of the constructed building consist of walls, partition and wall envelope printed with concrete.
Recently, a 400 square foot house was built in Russia in 24 hours at $10000. The house was built by a San Francisco-based company Apis Cor using a mobile printer. Workers were hired to paint it and place the roof. Although, it is not a mansion this technology can be used for people who want smaller houses for themselves. This house was curved and thus a curved TV was installed inside and the interiors have to be decided accordingly. If Apis Cor gets builds more houses, then the owners can choose their own shapes. The process followed by the company is unique in its way as the building is constructed on site rather than transporting the material from some other place.
DUS Architects, Amsterdam is in the process of building a canal house, with 3D construction method, using bioplastics (starch based plastic) from vegetable oil. This is an environmental project that aims to be renewable in nature.
3D printing is considered the future of the technical revolution, although concerns regarding safety and raw material are still there. We might not be building 3D models on other planets soon but we will definitely come out with more geometric patterns. The other concern is to invent materials that can bear climatic changes.