It is no surprise that smart technology is revolutionizing the construction industry every day. Over the past few years, we have seen technologies like 3D printing taking over the construction industry. While big construction companies have already adopted this technology, we still expect more companies to embrace it, including the small firms.
Contractors can use 3D printing to build a house in 24 hours, or even less. With such developments, giant construction companies are working hard to acquire 3D printing machines to stay on top of the competition. 3D concrete printing is advancing rapidly, and we expect its market to reach $56.4 million by 2021.
How 3D Printing in Construction Works
Most construction companies use 3D printing machines that explore Contour Crafting technology. This technique comes with numerous benefits that can help construction firms to save on production costs.
Contour Crafting technology involves the use of robotic arm extruders to build structures. The machine moves around as it deposits building materials on a flat building surface until it forms a complete structure.
You would see several rails around the construction ground directing the robotic arm. The arm moves forward and backwards while extruding concrete in layers. Trowels beside and on top of the nozzle flatten the deposited layers to strengthen the structure.
Considering the technicality of 3D printing, it doesn’t use conventional concrete. Remember that the extruded layers must thicken faster for the machine to add more layers on top. It uses a special building material, which is a mixture of concrete and glass fibres.
Why 3D Printing is the Future of Building Construction
Like any other technology, 3D printing has numerous benefits that will transform the construction industry. With this technology, contractors can enjoy:
● Increased construction speed
● Reduced on-site accidents
● Reduced supply costs
● Reduced construction waste
● Improved project quality
● Streamlined customer expectations
Advantages of 3D Printing in Building Construction
Now that you understand how 3D printing works, let’s delve a bit deeper into the benefits highlighted above.
1. Increased Construction Speed
When it comes to construction speed, 3D printing sets itself apart from other construction tech. Unlike other methods which take months or weeks to construct a building, 3D printing technology can allow you to build a house in less than one day.
Quicker construction by 3D printing helps contractors to save time. For instance, if a project is to last for three weeks using conventional methods, 3D printing can complete the same project in three days.
As contractors complete projects within a short period of time, they can take up as many projects as possible. That means increased productivity translating into more profits.
2. Reduced On-site Accidents
Many accidents occurring in construction sites often result in multiple injuries, especially where the contractors use conventional construction methods. With 3D printing, workers are less involved in the construction process, reducing the chances of getting injured.
3D printing is a groundbreaking innovation that promotes a safer jobsite in construction. While some accidents often result from falling off scaffolding, 3D printing doesn’t need any of it. Firms that use this technology spend less money on compensating injured workers.
3. Reduced Costs of Supply
Building a house with 3D printers require fewer materials and labour, reducing the total cost of construction. “With 3D printing, construction firms will save up to 50 per cent on the total cost,” says WinSun, a China-based construction company specializing in 3D printing.
When the supply costs reduce, construction companies using 3D printing are likely to increase their profit margins while remaining on top of the competition. Clients will also enjoy lower prices from owners and contractors.
4. Reduced Construction Wastes
If you are looking for a way to build a house without wasting resources, 3D printing construction could be it. Since the technique uses the exact amount of building materials to complete a structure, no materials will go waste.
Construction companies that use 3D printing have reduced their production costs due to reduced wastes. According to a report by CNET, WinSun claims to have saved between 30 per cent and 60 per cent of wastes with 3D printing construction.
5. Improved Project Quality
Contractors can use 3D printing to build not only durable but also unique houses for clients. 3D printers are known to assemble the building materials in a way that the apartment will last longer. That reduces repair costs.
3D printing can also improve the quality of a construction project by producing scale models that construction firms can use to pinpoint problems in the structural design. If there is a problem in the design, they can quickly correct it before building the house.
6. Streamlined Customer Expectations
One great thing about 3D printing is that it prioritizes the needs of customers. Construction companies can use this technology to communicate effectively with their clients. The tech allows clients to contribute ideas regarding a project, ensuring that their needs are met.
Construction firms that use 3D printing have quality customer reviews, setting them apart from their competitors. That alone can help them pioneer in new markets.
Since 3D printing allows construction firms to build houses faster, it will most likely solve the housing crisis in some countries with limited houses. Notably, 3D printing is a promising tech that will reduce build costs.
Adopting 3D printing in construction is a serious undertaking that needs proper planning and budgeting. Construction firms that intend to use the technology must, therefore, establish their requirements before evaluating the project costs. This blog post by Procore will help you prepare an effective working budget.