A Building in 3 Hours
While architectural firms compete with their designs for 3D-printed dwellings, one company in China has quietly been setting about getting the job done. In March of last year, company WinSun claimed to have printed 10 houses in 24 hours, using a proprietary 3D printer that uses a mixture of ground construction and industrial waste, such as glass and tailings, around a base of quick-drying cement mixed with a special hardening agent.
WinSun has further demonstrated the efficacy of its technology — with a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre (11,840 square foot) villa, complete with decorative elements inside and out.
The 3D printer array, developed by Ma Yihe, who has been inventing 3D printers for over a decade, stands 6.6 metres high, 10 metres wide and 40 metres long (20 by 33 by 132 feet). This fabricates the parts in large pieces at WinSun’s facility. The structures are then assembled on-site, complete with steel reinforcements and insulation in order to comply with official building standards.
Although the company hasn’t revealed how large it can print pieces, based on, they are quite sizeable. A CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material “much like how a baker might ice a cake,” WinSun says. The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation.
This process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and can decrease production times by between 50 and 70 percent, and labour costs by between 50 and 80 percent. In all, the villa costs around $161,000 to build.
And, using recycled materials in this way, the buildings decrease the need for quarried stone and other materials — resulting in a construction method that is both environmentally forward and cost effective.
In time, the company hopes to use its technology on much larger scale constructions, such as bridges and even skyscrapers.
By Michelle Starr
10-storey building built in 48 hours in Mohali (India)
Earlier at Mohali (Chandigarh – India) a 10 building was delivered within 48 hours.
The red and grey facade building, Instacon, stands tall. Work on the building’s construction started around 4:30 pm on a Thursday. By Friday evening, the building saw seven floors in place.
As the deadline of 48 hours approached, all the 10 floors of the building were in place even though the glass-panes on the windows and other fittings inside were still being put by the workers and engineers.
The building used pre-fabricated material, including 200 tonnes of steel.
“Our effort was to put the 10-storeyed structure in place within 48 hours. We wanted to prove that this could be done. That feat was achieved well within 48 hours. Just some finishing touches remain. This is only a sample structure,” an official of Synergy Thrislington infrastructure company said.
Entrepreneur Harpal Singh, who heads the Rs1,000-crore infrastructure company, had promised that the 10-storey building would be completed within 48 hours.
“This is the first building of its kind in the country to be built in just 48 hours. The model has been cleared for Zone-V seismic area, the highest risk area (for earthquakes),” Harpal Singh, who owns the JW Marriot Hotel in Chandigarh, said.
Over 200 skilled workers, technicians, engineers and equipment were engaged in the building construction. The material being used was manufactured in the past two months in a nearby factory. “No bricks and sand has been used. The outer wall is a double-skinned PUF panel. The cost is almost the same as of conventional construction material. It saves a lot of time that goes into construction otherwise,” said officials at the site.
Harpal Singh said that the idea to construct such a building came to him when he was constructing his own house, which took two years to complete – thanks to truant workers.
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