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3D Printing in Construction

18/11/2020

Studio Victoria

3 minutes

Following on from the previous article where we explained how 3D works and what 3D printing is. In this article we will be focusing on 3D Printing for Construction by answering the following question: what are the advantages of 3D Printing in the Construction Industry? Keep reading and find out how adopting 3D printing in the Construction Industry can help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS!

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY?

In the previous article, we explained that 3D printing is a software programme that informs the printer about the measurements and dimensions of the end product, in 3D printing in construction this could be a CAD (computer-aided design) or BIM programme informing the printer, which then injects and begins layering the materials needed on a platform to create the design intended for printing. For the Construction Industry, 3D printing technology can be used for printing construction components, buildings, and infrastructures, such as bridges and furniture thus providing the Construction Industry with several benefits that we have listed below:

  • Keeps consistency in quality Implementing 3D printing in construction can produce accurate sub-assemblies, helping prefabrication and modular design as it allows for consistent quality. As 3D printing allows for sub-assemblies to be produced off-site in factory controlled conditions this also means set precise amounts of material can be used helping to produce less waste, lower carbon footprint all whilst keeping consistent quality standards
  • Improves durability: 3D printers can lessen the number of repairs done to buildings as 3D printing can contribute to the sturdiness of the structural elements because of how the materials are made and assembled
  • Increases sustainability: The use of 3D printing in Construction can help to reduce the stress on the environment and address the sustainability issues. The Construction Industry consumes large amounts of primary resources and produces large amounts of waste that ends up in landfills. Incorporating technology such as 3D printing allows for off-site construction improving which requires less material and if material is left over it can be recycled. BIM (Building Information Modelling) can also provide accurate calculations and measurements helping in the planning and design stage by determining how much material and resources would be required so there is little waste going into landfills
  • More cost-effective: A 3D printer can reduce the cost of staff labour, time, and material costs. 3D printers can operate non-stop this can help quicken up construction projects and with exact amounts of material needed to create an object means the construction industry can save money. For example, a 3D printer can use the accurate amount of concrete needed to make a wall and therefore builders do not need to buy bulks of concrete but can instead determine the amount of material they'll need to buy
  • Quickens construction time: traditional methods of construction can take up to weeks or months whereas, 3D printers can often finish a project in hours, days and in some cases less than 24 hours. This allows the construction Industry to take on multiple projects and finish projects sooner helping to also help increase revenue
  • Enables custom architectural designs: 3D printers can offer clients unique buildings that are custom designed by them as 3D printers can create odd and atypical design structures. This allows construction companies to offer something desirable to certain clients and open up their portfolio
  • Enhances safety: another advantage of 3D printers is that it makes workers' jobs a lot easier as they do not have to create buildings or building parts themselves. Technology enhances the safety of workers as it help them conduct dangerous tasks where injury and harm could be of concern if done without the help of technology
  • Improves brand image: As the UK is entering a Circular Economy, the UK government sees the Construction Industry as a major key player to help make the world a better and sustainable place for the future, you can read more about this here. Currently, the Construction Industry is seen as an industry that creates large amounts of waste and consumes large amounts of the earth's natural resources, 3D printing can be utilised to improve branding because it reduces waste and is more sustainable compared to traditional methods, helping you to improve your reputation and work with the government to achieve their goals

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