Just how much is 3D printing changing the construction industry? Let’s put it like this—if you’re lucky, one day soon you might be printing your dream house. Additive manufacturing has been innovating almost every industry, but some of the most dramatic proof of what it can do is in the impressive structures popping up all over the world. That’s because 3D printing has some big benefits.
It Saves Time and Money
Additive manufacturing only uses the materials it needs to produce parts; there’s no need to cut away extra material as you would with traditional construction. Using liquid metals, plastics, cement, or other materials, 3D printing builds layer upon layer until the structure cools or dries.
Because 3D printers can run day and night, seven days a week, there are fewer labor costs involved, and they can complete projects faster. A 3D printer can prefabricate the elements of a building in a factory and assemble it all at once. Or a construction arm can attach to the printer to actively build on-site.
It Eliminates Waste
One of the biggest perks of 3D printing is its effect on the planet. Sustainable manufacturing has eluded the construction industry because it takes so much material to erect a structure—just picture the construction sites you’ve seen in the past. But because additive manufacturing uses only the material needed from the start, there’s potential for zero-waste buildings. It even cuts down on costs because there’s no waste to remove.
It Improves Architecture
With traditional construction methods, practicality often limits architects. It costs more to construct more intricate designs, and it’s a lot more difficult. But because 3D printing uses layers, it can more easily bring complicated blueprints to life. It can even combine several custom 3D printed partsinto one, making these elements stronger because no one has to weld them together.
You can already see for yourself how 3D printing is changing the construction industry. For example, in 2017, a 3D printer constructed the “Office of the Future” in Dubai—it put together all the parts off-site in just 17 days. Workers were then able to assemble it all in two days.
You probably have a more flexible timetable than that, so talk with us at Miller Plastics about the best methods for manufacturing your project. Visit us at our facilities in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, or contact us for more information.