3D Printing Architecture: Revolutionizing the Construction Industry

The Problem

“The big difference between 3D printing and manufacturing on site is that you’re almost entirely skipping the fabrication part. There are huge potential time, labour and transportation savings to be made, compared to traditional construction methods – however, the cost of 3D-printed materials is still far higher than regular bricks and blocks.” Source

Technology Summary

  • 3D printing is not going to replace brick and concrete buildings. I think it’s more going to be the case that we’ll start printing brick and concrete.
  • The project is not about exploring new architectural possibilities but rather generating discussion about the future of design and construction.
  • Existing 3D printers are only able to produce homogeneous materials that have the same properties throughout. But graded materials would be useful for printing architectural elements – such as beams or façades that mimic bone, which is hard on the outside but spongy on the inside.
  • Robotic arms can be used to print in traditional materials, such as plastic, concrete or composites, or employed to weave or knit three-dimensional fibre structures.
  • In the future, buildings may be constructed by swarms of tiny robots that use a combination of printing and weaving techniques.

The Technology Stakeholders

  • 3D Printing Companies
  • Construction Material Manufacturers
  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Building Clients

Process of Technology Implementation

  • Encourage Architecture + Design Competitions
  • Research + Development to Create more Innovative Technologies
  • Develop 3D Printing Construction-compatible Materials
  • Replicate pilot in multiple locations worldwide
  • Share new technology and best practices

One thought on “3D Printing Architecture: Revolutionizing the Construction Industry

  1. 5: The 3D printing technology is making leaps and bounds, but not quite as far along as one might think. or this project, the pieces have to be printed and then assembled, which some purists are saying is not 3d printing. According to the article this is “Because of the fragility of the individual parts…”, which shows a major weakness.


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