The Largest House Built on a 3D Printer Was Constructed in the USA
In the United States, the largest house was built using a 3D printer. The building area is 177 square meters.
It took the builders only two days to build the house. Six more days were spent on finishing the premises. Thus, they set a new record in the USA. Materials for the construction cost approximately 6 thousand dollars. The creators believe that the cost-effectiveness and speed of creating their project can greatly affect the further introduction of 3D printing in the construction industry.
The manufacturer claims that the new technology, which has been tested on this building, will reduce the time that will be spent on the construction. Approximately, it will be reduced by exactly 2 times. For comparison, in Mexico, social homes are 3D printed in 24 hours, but their area is only 46 square meters.
Particular emphasis is placed on the printer which claims to be self-erecting foundations, uses little energy, and reduces the number of workers to three. The company plans to expand its production capacity, which will allow it to print residential buildings on an industrial scale already in 2021.
What Is a 3D Printer for Construction?
Building 3D printers that exist today differ in their designs and wall construction methods. The most common printers are gantry design, two- and four-support designs, based on a manipulator arm or circular design. The equipment allows you to create small architectural forms and elements of structures for their subsequent assembly on-site or allows you to print the entire building on the construction site. The height and dimensions of the building to be printed depending on the specifications of the printer used.
The extruder extrudes a fast-setting concrete mixture with various additives. Each subsequent layer is applied on top of the previous one, due to which a vertical structure is formed. Concrete layers underneath are thus compacted, thereby increasing their ability to withstand the next layers, and therefore the entire weight of the structure. To strengthen the structure, its reinforcement is performed, which can be both vertical and horizontal. The horizontal reinforcement belt is laid between the layers, the vertical reinforcement is installed at the end of the hardening of the composition and then poured with concrete.
The production of structures by a 3D printer opens up great opportunities for enterprises in the construction and related industries. Practical application has revealed the following advantages of additive manufacturing:
It removes restrictions from the imagination of designers and architects who design buildings, as it provides opportunities that are not available during construction by the methods we are used to.
The obvious advantages are the following:
● High speed of construction of buildings and structures.
● Full automation of the process.
● Low power consumption of equipment.
● Significant savings in comparison with classical construction methods due to lower labor and energy costs and faster construction times.
● The formation of building materials waste is completely excluded.
Minimizing human interference in the construction process not only allows buildings in places inaccessible to people but also in ordinary territories. Moreover, it eliminates the human factor and reduces the likelihood of mistakes.
Plans to Build an Entire Neighborhood Using a 3D printer
In the United States, a project was presented for an entire district, where houses will be built using 3D printing. Such information is reported by New Atlas .
The project is a joint initiative of the non-profit New Story, design firm Yves Béhar Fuseproject and construction company Icon. By the way, if you think that it is hard to find professional civil construction company for project , you are wrong. Thanks to international marketplaces it is much easier to come up with a professional team that will be able to implement the most complicated project ever.
For printing houses, in particular, they suggested using the Vulcan II construction 3D printer from Icon. The test house took 48 hours to build and cost $ 10,000.
Icon promises that the Vulcan II can print structural elements in 24 hours. The printer itself is portable. The team is now planning to build an entire neighborhood in Latin America. The listing of low-cost homes is expected to begin in the coming months.
Vulcan II ⏤ An Updated 3D Printer for Creating Residential Buildings
American construction company ICON has released the second version of its Vulcan 3D printer for creating one-story residential buildings.
The updated printer is 3.6 meters high and 10 meters wide. The device prints the walls up to 2.6 meters high on a foundation up to 8.5 meters wide. Maximum print area ⏤186 square meters.
In the process of building a house, the 3D printer feeds the strips of material 5 cm wide and 2 cm high. The printing speed in the horizontal plane varies from 13 to 17 cm/sec. It takes up to three days for the device to "print" a house, depending on the size.
Lavacrete is used as a printing material ⏤ a concrete-lime mixture developed by ICON, the recipe of which is patented. It has passed all strength tests and is considered safe for the construction of residential premises.
Vulcan II, being collapsible, is transported in a special trailer and does not require installation before starting work. According to developers, 4-6 people are enough to manage the printer.
The progress in the field of construction 3D printing is clearly not standing still, new techniques are constantly being introduced, various materials are created, including recycled raw materials. Moreover, high-tech equipment is being developed. In a short period of time, the technology has interested many enterprises that are developing equipment, special building mixtures, libraries of structural solutions for designing buildings for 3D printing, as well as preparing the legislative and regulatory framework.
In the future, the entire construction process will be able to become fully automated, without human intervention, not only when printing the foundation and walls, but also when printing ceilings and roofs. It will help us install utilities, doors, and windows automatically. Also, perhaps in the future, we will not be limited to printing houses with 2-3 floors, but we will be able to move to multi-story construction. All this is no longer impossible and has ceased to sound like fantastic dreams of a high-tech future. You just need to give time for the natural course of the evolution of 3D construction technology and learn more about civil engineering .