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3D-printed concrete homes? Hong Kong team hits brick wall in bid to apply tech

Architect Christian Lange of the University of Hong Kong has hit a brick wall with his cutting-edge development of 3D-printed concrete, potentially hindering the chance to revolutionise building practices.The department of architecture associate professor is excited about his newly revamped fabrication lab in a low-ceilinged car park storeroom on campus, featuring two large robots on tracks which swiftly alternate between concrete printing, picking and placing, as well as welding.After developing a series of 3D-printed terracotta reef structures in clay, a collaborative research mission with marine scientists aimed at restoring coral in Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park in 2020, the lab is now capable of producing concrete objects in a matter of minutes.Christian Lange adjusts the nozzle of a 3D-printing robot as it puts the finishing touches on a concrete vase. The one-metre tall object takes about 20 minutes to produce, without needing to wait for it to dry. Photo: Dickson LeeBut efforts to commercialise the research have stumbled, with Lange and his team failing to attract interest in their pitch among property developers and encountering funding hurdles.The researchers are still waiting to hear back on their application, submitted in mid-2022, to the government’s Construction Innovation and Technology Fund.As part of last year’s policy address in October, the chief executive announced money would be allocated in 2024 to more than 400 companies under the fund, which aims to advance the adoption of innovative technology in construction projects.“I think our pitch was actually good but there was no real outcome, making me wonder if we should have applied for a different grant,” Lange said.Abby Choi’s face ‘to be recreated with 3D printing’ for funeral in Hong KongDiscussions with a private developer also fell flat.“The developer we have been talking to … did not see the full picture,” he said. “The discussion was on hold for more than a year.“If you get some government funding, then you seem to have more credibility. If you want to commercialise a technology, you obviously need to have a facility, which is also money-related. That would possibly be an obstacle for us.”The Development Bureau said the government fund mostly offered subsidies for readily available technology, while 3D printing of concrete was considered an emerging area covered by the Pioneering Application, a separate initiative under the fund.Hong Kong researchers develop 3D-printed material that kills coronavirusA spokesman said the initiative, launched in 2022, aimed to support industry stakeholders to attract emerging but proven technologies from abroad that required adaptation and modification to be used in the local construction industry.Lange said the technology being used by his team came from the Netherlands.“[It uses] a so-called 2K system, which is basically concrete and an accelerator,” he said. “An accelerator is a chemical that is pumped into the concrete to make it set instantaneously.”The bureau spokesman said applications were still being reviewed.“The [fund’s] secretariat has received a few applications and proposals about the introduction of the 3D concrete printing technology into Hong Kong, which are now under processing pending applicants’ submission of the required justifications and information,” the spokesman said.Chief Executive John Lee has announced money will be allocated in 2024 to more than 400 companies under the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund. Photo: Sun YeungLange described the 3D printing of concrete in Hong Kong as being in its “infancy”. The technology is making advances in some other parts of the world, such as in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, where it was used to construct a 72 square metre (775 sq ft) community building featuring a gym and laundry.“People working with it are mostly still within the academic realm and linked to university environments, doing large test prints or prototypes and [figuring out] how to utilise this technology for architecture.”Acknowledging that 3D-printed concrete is a new material that must comply with building regulations, the team is focusing on landscape architecture, working on non-structural elements such as flower pots, large vases and benches that could enhance the urban environment.A one-metre (3-foot) tall vase could be printed in 20 minutes without needing to wait for it to dry, while a 3D-printed terracotta reef structure could take up to four hours, Lange said.Christian Lange holding a piece of a 3D-printed terracotta reef structure. The technology was used for a collaborative research mission with marine scientists aimed at restoring coral in Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park in 2020. Photo: Dickson LeeLegislator Tony Tse Wai-chuen, of the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency, said authorities were very cautious about funding innovative technology projects.“The projects must provide reports on the outcomes and effectiveness, which can lead to longer waiting times for approval,” Tse said.“Even after a project has already incurred expenses, they may not be acknowledged during the funding approval process. But if the project’s progress is dependent on financial help, it will only stagnate.”‘Extra pair of eyes’: Hong Kong researchers find AI helps doctors spot tumoursHe added that price and production capacity were also factors to consider, as innovators using 3D-printing technology might find it difficult to compete with a factory which could produce at a larger scale.Lange said he was willing to put his products through all kinds of tests if the technology could eventually be opened up to be used for buildings, but he would continue with smaller developments, such as creating decorative landscaping pieces.“I will do a few test prints and hopefully a large-scale one,” he said. “My goal is to get out something at least two metres tall, which people may see as wall components.”

Global 3D Printing Construction Market Forecast to 2030

Dublin, Jan. 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Global 3D Printing Construction Market by Techniques (Extrusion, Powder Bonding), Material (Composite, Concrete, Metal), End-user – Forecast 2023-2030” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.The 3D Printing Construction Market is projected to reach USD 11,640.99 million by 2030 from USD 629.36 million in 2022, at a CAGR of 44.00% during the forecast period. Market Segmentation & Coverage:This research report analyzes various sub-markets, forecasts revenues, and examines emerging trends in each category to provide a comprehensive outlook on the 3D Printing Construction Market. Based on Techniques, the market is studied across Extrusion and Powder Bonding. The Powder Bonding is projected to witness significant market share during forecast period.Based on Material, the market is studied across Composite, Concrete, and Metal. The Concrete is projected to witness significant market share during forecast period.Based on End-user, the market is studied across Commercial, Industrial, and Residential. The Residential is projected to witness significant market share during forecast period.Based on Region, the market is studied across Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa. FPNV Positioning Matrix:The FPNV Positioning Matrix is an indispensable tool for assessing the 3D Printing Construction Market. It comprehensively evaluates vendors, analyzing key metrics related to Business Strategy and Product Satisfaction. This enables users to make informed decisions tailored to their specific needs. Through advanced analysis, vendors are categorized into four distinct quadrants, each representing a different level of success: Forefront (F), Pathfinder (P), Niche (N), or Vital (V). Be assured that this insightful framework empowers decision-makers to navigate the market with confidence.Market Share Analysis:The Market Share Analysis offers invaluable insights into the vendor landscape 3D Printing Construction Market. By evaluating their impact on overall revenue, customer base, and other key metrics, we provide companies with a comprehensive understanding of their performance and the competitive environment they confront. This analysis also uncovers the level of competition in terms of market share acquisition, fragmentation, dominance, and industry consolidation during the study period.The report offers valuable insights on the following aspects: Market Penetration: It provides comprehensive information about key players’ market dynamics and offerings.Market Development: In-depth analysis of emerging markets and penetration across mature market segments, highlighting lucrative opportunities.Market Diversification: Detailed information about new product launches, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments.Competitive Assessment & Intelligence: Exhaustive assessment of market shares, strategies, products, certifications, regulatory approvals, patent landscape, and manufacturing capabilities of leading players.Product Development & Innovation: Intelligent insights on future technologies, R&D activities, and breakthrough product developments. Companies Mentioned Aectual B.V.Aeditive GmbHApis Cor Inc.BATIPRINT 3DBetabramBlack Buffalo 3D Corporation.ChangeMaker3DCOBOD International A/SConstructions-3DContour Crafting CorporationCyBe ConstructionHyperion Robotics OyICON Technology, Inc.MakerCarl 3DMighty Buildings, Inc.MUDBOTS 3D CONCRETE PRINTING, LLCMX3DRAP Technologies B.V.Sika AGSQ4D LLCTotal KustomWASP S.r.IXtreeEYingchuang Building Technique (Shanghai) Co.Ltd.(Winsun) For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/9oh4o3 About ResearchAndMarkets.comResearchAndMarkets.com is the world’s leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.

Global 3D Printing Construction Market

ABB Robotics And Simpliforge Advance 3D Printing In Indian Construction

ABB Robotics and Simpliforge Creations Propel 3D Printing Advancements in India’s Construction Industry ABB Robotics and Simpliforge Creations have joined forces to advance 3D printing technologies in the Indian construction sector, aiming to accelerate construction processes for structures across various sectors. This collaboration harnesses ABB’s IRB6700 robots, featuring enhanced payload management, and Simpliforge’s proprietary software, […]

RIC Technology launches new automated robotic arm construction 3D printer

RIC Technology has announced the launch of its latest RIC-M1 PRO compact modular robotic arm printer at World of Concrete (WOC) 2024. With a wider footprint than its previous machines, enhanced automation, and intelligent material delivery system, RIC says that the new printer is a cost-effective, time-saving, and labour-reducing technology in response to the global housing shortage.

The company claims that conventional gantry-based 3D construction systems have not been able to effectively deliver the promise of reducing construction time and costs as a solution to the global housing shortage. RIC says this is due to the systems costing thousands of dollars in labour and equipment rental fees and take up to 3 days to set up.

RIC technology says its new RIC-M1 PRO robotic arm printer is able to achieve the cost and time saving potential through advancements including: a compact size and modular design; 30% more footprint; 1/3 reduction in skilled labour required; and a 3/8 mixer pump included.

RIC says the new printer is much smaller in size compared to the gantry-based system, and requires no assembly, and can be operation in 2-4 hours once on the construction site.

Read more:

Buffalo Builds: Black Buffalo 3D on its ICC-approved solution for construction 3D printing

Construction 3D printing company Mighty Buildings raises $52 million in latest funding round

ICON’s advanced construction 3D printing know-how to support DARPA’s 10-year Lunar Architecture study

Compared to the previous model, the RIC-M1, a major upgrade on the new system is the expansion of the printing footprint.  With the extended length of the modular rail system, RIC-M1 PRO allows for a 21.65 ft printing width, a 2ft increase on the previous system, and a 42.65 ft printing length, a 12 ft increase, and a printing height of 14 ft. The company says this also expands the printable terrains, from homeowners’ backyards to mountains.

Instead of being limited to printing only mortar, RIC-M1 PRO comes with an integrated self loading 3/8 aggregate mixer pump, which enables it to print with either concrete or mortar. Concrete has advantages over mortar in large-scale an structural elements due to its strength, durability, and resistance to environmental factors, whereas mortar excels in smaller-scale and detailed projects says RIC Technology.

The company says the ability to print in both mortar and concrete increases flexibility and expands the printable terrains of the machine.

“With its vast printing range and advanced automation, RIC-M1 PRO is a huge step forward in equipping the 3D construction industry to build more affordable housing,” said Ziyou Xu, Founder and CEO of RIC Technology.

Bakrie and COBOD establish JV for 3DCP

Director of PT Bakrie & Brothers Tbk (BNBR) Roy Hendrajanto M. Sakti, at the event said the agreement was made to forge the collaboration between Modula and COBOD, to focus on developing business in the construction industry with 3DCP technology in Indonesia. This collaboration will be realized in the establishment of a new company called […]

First 3D Printed Medical Center in Thailand

3D construction printing being used for much more than residential housing. SCG, Siam Cement Group, has completed the first 3D printed medical center in the world using a BOD2 printer from COBOD Located in Saraburi, Thailand, the new 2-story medical center is with 345m2 (3,712 SF) the largest 3D printed building in the ASEAN countries […]


L&T used COBOD’s 3D printing technology to cut execution time by 80% and reduce cost by 40% India’s and the world’s first 3D printed post office opened for business last week. The 1,021 square feet (94,9 m2) building was begun in March 2023 and executed in just 43 days, two days ahead of schedule. Using […]

3D Printing News Unpeeled: Not That Kind of Organ 3D Printing – 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

GKN Aerospace will create a 150 jobs in Trollhattan Sweden with an investment of $60 million part of which comes from the Swedish Energy Agency’s Industriklivet initiative. The investment will go to build out their plant that 3D prints fan case mount rings for the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G. This strengthens Sweden´s 3D printing landscape, which is already quite strong given recent growth by Amexi, the large Siemens Energy facility, and firms such as Arcam and FreeMelt.
[embedded content]Indian construction firm Godrej & Boyce has 3D printed an office building called ‘The Cocoon’, of 46 square meters. The printing and installation of flooring, electrical and plumbing all happened in 40 hours. I love that this shape has been optimized for 3D printing and think that India and other similar countries will be big users of Additive Construction.
Austrian company Rieger Orgelbau has used cellulose-reinforced UPM Formi 3D biocomposite to make an organ in Helsinki. The musical organ has 260 meter long pipes and has been installed.

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Indian Billionaire Family 3D Prints Office in 40 Hours – 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

Additive construction (AC) is exploding at what seems like an unexpected rate. A technology that once seemed like novelty is now being deployed for numerous tangible projects. One area of the world where that is most evident is India, where several companies, large and small, are pioneering the advancement of construction 3D printing in the nation and beyond. The latest legacy firm to showcase its move into AC is the Godrej Group, led by one of the richest families in India.
Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, has jumped into the AC sector with the construction of a 3D printed concrete facility at Godrej Construction’s greenfield campus in Khalapur. Dubbed ‘The Cocoon’, to reflect its curved elliptical geometry, this 500 sq. ft. office structure was erected in a mere 40-hour timeframe using AC.
Crafting the 3D Printed Cocoon
The construction process encompassed a comprehensive range of tasks completed within the 40-hour window. This included the installation of 3D-printed modules, civil works, waterproofing, flooring, painting, electrical and plumbing installations, and the fitting of office furniture and landscaping.
Anup Mathew, Senior Vice President and Business Head, Godrej Construction said, “‘The Cocoon’ is a manifestation of our relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries, not just in terms of architectural design, but also in redefining construction timelines. Construction of ‘The Cocoon’ is a good demonstration of an effective team collaboration integrated with good project planning using tools like Building Information Modeling (BIM), Lean Construction methods, and 3D Construction Printing.”

The curvilinear geometry of the office is not only meant to pleasing to the eye, but also demonstrates the flexibility of AC, as traditional construction techniques would have a difficult time achieving the same look. This particularly true since the layout is column-free, maximizing usable space. It also includes a prefabricated toilet unit, exemplifying the structure’s modular nature.
“We had the option of making it rectangular and build it with beams and columns, but it would have taken longer. So, we decided to make column-less structure with a curvature, and elliptical design which will look more aesthetic. 3D construction printing technology allows you to make complex designs,” said Abhijeet Gawde, Head of Business Development & Marketing at Godrej Construction.

Pursuing AC also falls in line with Godrej Construction’s strategy to make its field more sustainable, as the technology is meant to generate less waste overall due to the lack of concrete formworks necessary, among other things. In 2016, the business established a recycled concrete manufacturing plant.
“We have processed nearly 30,000 metric tonnes of construction debris so far. We manufacture and supply paver blocks, solid blocks, AAC blocks, box culverts using recycled concrete aggregates to real estate developers as well as infrastructure companies and projects,” Gawde said.

Gawde highlighted that the company has provided more than 450 box culverts, constructed with a mixture containing 10% recycled concrete aggregates, for major infrastructure developments. Additionally, the unit’s solid blocks and pavers have been key to the construction of the Mumbai Metro 2A and 7 lines.
In this case, the Cocoon was constructed using a concrete mix that includes up to 20% recycled concrete aggregates sourced from concrete debris recycled at the Godrej & Boyce facility in Vikhroli, Mumbai.
The Godrej Group and India’s Rising Status
The history of the Godrej Group dates back to 1897 with the sale of locks to address India’s rising crime at that time. Since then, it has evolved to become a US$4.1 billion conglomerate involved in real estate, consumer products, industrial engineering, appliances, furniture, security and agricultural products. The Godrej family now boasts $16.7 billion, making it one of the richest in India.
Just as AC has immense potential in developed nations, particularly the U.S., as they attempt to update infrastructure alongside sustainability initiatives, developing countries may be able to more quickly grow theirs in accordance with economic expansion. This is especially true for India, which is on track to becoming one of the world’s most powerful countries.
A bus shelter 3D printing by Godrej Construction and Tvasta.
From being the 11th largest economy in the world in the early 2000s, India became the 5th largest by 2019, overtaking the United Kingdom and France. In terms of AM, the country’s “Make in India” strategy seeks to carve out a five percent stake in the global AM market, with the aim of contributing nearly US$ 1 billion to India’s GDP by 2025. In turn, we’ve seen both established Indian conglomerates, such as ArcelorMittal, and 3D printing startups aim to tap this market.
[embedded content]
Godrej Construction has been exploring AC for over two years with Indian construction 3D printing startup, Tvasta, making bus shelters and security pavilions that were erected at the Vikhroli campus. Given the importance of the group in India’s economy and the use of Godrej Construction in existing infrastructure projects, it wouldn’t be surprising for the business to deploy AC for future endeavors.

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ET Explainer: Building the future, exploring 3D printing in construction

Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has been making significant progress globally across various sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare, automotive, energy, electronics, fashion, and consumer goods. In real estate and construction, 3D printing is being explored with projects ranging from small structures to entire buildings. Recently, L&T and IIT Madras developed India’s first 3D-printed post office in Bengaluru’s Cambridge Layout, while Godrej Constructions built an office near Mumbai in just 40 hours. Given the swift progress in technology and the growing investments in the industry, it is only a matter of time before 3D printed houses become a tangible reality in India through 3D printing services. 1. What is 3D Printing Technology:3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, revolutionizes traditional manufacturing processes. It involves creating objects layer by layer from digital models. This method allows for the production of intricate and customized designs by depositing materials in a precise manner.2. How is this utilised in the real estate and construction sector?In real estate and construction, 3D printing transforms the conventional approach by enabling the construction of buildings and components layer by layer. This technology offers unprecedented advantages, including the ability to create complex designs efficiently and with minimal material waste.3. What are key benefits of 3D printing’s usage in realty and construction?3D printing enhances construction timelines by automating the building process, resulting in increased speed. This acceleration is complemented by improved efficiency, as the technology minimizes material waste, promoting sustainable construction practices. Additionally, 3D printing provides a remarkable level of flexibility, enabling the construction of highly customized structures that can effectively address a wide range of architectural demands.4. How does it stack up against conventional construction methods in terms of cost, efficiency, and durability?Despite the potential for higher initial investment costs, 3D printing in construction yields long-term savings through decreased labor and material expenses. The technology’s efficiency is underscored by rapid construction times, which significantly contribute to the overall efficiency of a project. The durability of 3D-printed structures is contingent upon the materials employed, and ongoing advancements in materials science aim to further enhance their robustness, ensuring a lasting and resilient built environment.5. Can this be used for construction of a large scale or tall superstructure project?The 3D printing technology is scalable and has been effectively applied to large-scale projects like houses and bridges. The process involves layer-by-layer construction, enabling flexibility and adaptability to diverse project sizes. While the technology has proven successful in the construction of expansive structures, challenges arise when applying it to extremely tall buildings. The construction of skyscrapers presents technical complexities such as structural stability, material strength, and printing precision over extended heights. Researchers in the field are actively addressing these challenges to expanding its applicability to even more ambitious and vertically challenging projects in the future.6. What are its limitations based on the progress made by this technology so far?Current material options for 3D printing are more limited compared to traditional construction materials. Challenges may arise for constructing very large or intricate structures, necessitating ongoing research and development. Skilled technicians are essential to operate and maintain 3D printers effectively, ensuring optimal performance.7. Which are the marquee projects globally built through this technology so far?–Dubai’s “Office of the Future”: An office building constructed using advanced 3D printing methods.–Nantes, France: A noteworthy 3D-printed house showcasing innovation in residential construction.–China: Various construction initiatives employing 3D printing methods, demonstrating its efficiency and sustainability in different projects.8. Job Loss Concerns:While 3D printing technology transforms traditional roles, it is more likely to lead to a shift in job requirements rather than widespread blue-collar job losses. New opportunities emerge in roles focused on operating, maintaining, and advancing 3D printing technologies.9. What sort of regulatory changes need to be made for 3D printing technology’s use in real estate and construction? Any global benchmark on this yet?Regulatory frameworks require adaptation to accommodate the unique aspects and standards of 3D printing in construction. Establishing clear safety guidelines is crucial to ensuring the structural integrity of 3D-printed buildings.Regulatory frameworks for 3D printing in construction are still evolving, and there is no one-size-fits-all global benchmark. Different countries are developing standards based on their experiences, technological advancements, and the evolving nature of 3D printing in the construction sector.

Godrej & Boyce constructs a fully functional office within 40 hours using 3D Construction Printing Technology

~ ‘The Cocoon’, a 500 sq.ft. 3D printed office at Khalapur was installed and fully operational within 40 hoursGodrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, announced that its business, Godrej Construction has constructed a 500 sq. ft. office in the company’s own greenfield campus at Khalapur in an impressive 40-hour timeframe. This structure, ‘The Cocoon’ was created in the form of prefabricated modules, using innovative 3D Construction Printing (3DCP) Technology.Anup Mathew, Sr. Vice President and Business Head, Godrej Construction said, “‘The Cocoon’ is a manifestation of our relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries, not just in terms of architectural design, but also in redefining construction timelines. Construction of ‘The Cocoon’ is a good demonstration of an effective team collaboration integrated with good project planning using tools like Building Information Modelling (BIM), Lean Construction methods, and 3D Construction Printing. At Godrej Construction, we are committed to delivering innovative and sustainably designed solutions tailored to the needs of our customers in the built environment.” The modular office is characterized by its namesake, and the unique structure incorporates advanced engineering techniques, integrated with a modular construction process. The office is thoughtfully designed to explore the potential of 3DCP technology, showcasing design flexibility through unconventional curvilinear elliptical design. The entire layout is column free offering maximum usable office space, installed with a prefabricated toilet unit.The project construction included the complete installation of 3D printed modules, civil works, waterproofing, flooring, external & internal painting, electrical works, lighting, AC installation, plumbing, drainage & sanitation fixtures, office furniture, and landscaping in under 40 hours.The office was created using a concrete mix design comprising up to 20% of Recycled Concrete Aggregates (RCA) sourced from concrete debris, recycled at the Godrej & Boyce Recycled Concrete manufacturing facility, at Vikhroli, Mumbai. The business remains at the forefront of pioneering green and innovative construction practices, achieving yet another milestone with an office space meticulously designed for optimal utilization.

Startup CEO says ‘the house of the future costs as much as a car’ — here’s how the company plans to make it happen

New technology from Japanese startup Serendix may eventually turn the dream of home ownership from the seemingly impossible into the possible for many Americans — and help us give our planet an assist in the process.Serendix, which hopes to make housing more affordable, recently combined 3D printing and CNC machining to build a house for the cost of roughly $37,600, according to Adele Peters of Fast Company.Compare that with the median cost of a house in the United States: approximately $431,000, according to The Ascent, a review platform of The Motley Fool.“The house of the future costs as much as a car,” Serendix CEO Kunihiro Handa told Peters.Handa added that the company’s goal is to fully automate the housing industry — much like Japan did with the auto industry more than 40 years ago.3D printing has been around since the 1980s, when Dr. Hideo Kodama created a machine that hardened material with UV light, according to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. As the technology — and the laws surrounding its use — has evolved, so have the opportunities for its application.Today, an array of 3D-printing materials is available. According to Fast Company, in order to keep costs down, Serendix utilized concrete to print the walls of its 538-square-foot “barnacle” unit, giving an individual or a couple a bit of extra stretching room than a typical 100- to 400-square foot tiny house.[embedded content]The home design is constructed around steel columns and includes one bedroom, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. An incredible time-lapse video shows how they come together.An added bonus? Small homes are eco-friendly because they need less energy to run, so your bank account and the Earth will be thankful. While an average-sized home in the U.S. is responsible for approximately 28,000 pounds of harmful carbon pollution per year, tiny homes emit around 2,000, according to the American Institute of Architects.Serendix told Peters that its 3D-printed house only took 44 hours and 30 minutes to build. The efficiency of the construction time means that negative environmental impact is reduced. Globally, the construction industry is responsible for 39% of polluting heat-trapping gases.Photo Credit: SerendixSerendix has five printers, according to Peters, each of which can construct 50 houses per year, and the company intends to add more in 2024 in order to reach a goal of 850 per year.There’s no word yet on when the company’s technology could be available in the U.S.Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.

Emaar reveals Dubai’s first 3D-printed villa with smart house technologies

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9 Examples of 3D-Printed Houses

It’s a rare occasion when something debunks the “too good to be true” principle, such as 3D printing an entire house in less than 24 hours. And yet, here we are.What Are 3D-Printed Houses?Three-dimensional-printed houses are structures that are built layer by layer using an industrial-grade, 3D-printing technology. This method of additive manufacturing is also known as construction 3D printing.As tenants move into 3D-printed houses in the first years of their commercial listing debut, 3D printing is on a 23 percent compound annual growth rate over the decade to come, according to Grand View Research. These dwellings — often sharing a gray, shapely appearance with a ribbed texture — are even piquing the interest of NASA, which funded a $57 million project to develop tech for moonside 3D-printed infrastructure.Highly customizable and free of form, construction 3D printing is a new-age tech on the verge of market disruption, holding the potential to mass produce housing.What Are 3D-Printed Houses?Three-dimensional-printed houses are life-size dwellings that use 3D printing as its primary means of construction. With minimal human oversight, these highly customizable structures can be built on-site or off-site within a matter of hours at a fraction of the cost.Typically, 3D-printed houses feature free-form, curvilinear shapes made out of a cement mix. Projects span from inhabitable beta prototypes under study to move-in-ready affordable housing and even high-end luxury homes.Aside from time and money, several other reasons explain additive manufacturing’s disruption to the construction market. Many see this type of low-waste, computerized homebuilding delivered from an industrial-scale printer as a way to shelter unhoused communities and a gateway to sustainable, biodegradable housing solutions.How Are 3D-Printed Houses Built?Industrial-sized 3D printers build entire multi-unit housing developments one tiny layer at a time. This repetitive process puts the “additive” in “additive manufacturing.”Following a digital blueprint, a 3D printer will dispense a paste-like mixture. This will consist of choice ingredients — often a cement blend — but can range from sand and special polymers to bio-resins, like soil, clay or wood flour, which is a fine sawdust mixed with a corn-based binder.How Long Does It Take To 3D Print a House?Nowadays, industrial-sized 3D printers have made it possible to print an entire house in less than 24 hours.Keep in mind that a project’s “printing time” may exclude time for any second-fix installations or construction time necessary to piece together a project printed on-site and transported to its final location.And if you’re trying to build something of scale, like a house, the 3D printer itself has to outsize it. Made out of a steel, quad-truss framework — the kind you’d see as part of a concert stage — these industrial-grade 3D printers form a sort of hollow cube. On top, a robotic arm zips along a track, following pre-programmed instructions being read from the blueprint.Much like your desk-side inkjet printer, the mixture is then heated during a thermal extraction process. The paste squeezes through a nozzle, bringing the digital rendering into physical form. Before the next layer is applied, the mixture is solidified by a concrete dryer. This process repeats until all uploaded building elements are complete.It’s important to note that additive construction work sites are not entirely autonomous. Aside from the setup and breakdown of the equipment, human oversight is necessary to ensure there are no technical hiccups. Specialists must be on-site to cut holes for second-fix installments, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, doors and windows.How Much Does a 3D-Printed House Cost?Of course, this number will vary from project to project, and face further price contingencies based on the hired companies and materials used (let alone geographic location, size, amenities, design complexity, and so on). With that being said, developers stateside and abroad report average cost savings of 30 percent.Three-dimensional-printed houses first hit the U.S. market at the start of 2021. The 1,407-square-foot house — complete with three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage in Riverhead, New York — listed as “the world’s first 3D-printed home for sale” for $299,999 on Zillow.com.ICON, a 3D-printing construction company, said it could produce a 600 to 800-square-foot, economy-sized building for as low as $4,000 in 24 hours, as reported by Business Insider.Models on the more affluent side of the market can surpass $1 million. Known as House Zero, the mid-century, ranch-style luxury home is a 2,000-square-foot property with a 350-square-foot accessory dwelling unit. Just based on size and location, Zillow estimated the price of this four bedroom, three-and-a-half bath estate at $723,000 to $908,000, according to online specialty magazine All3DP. However, its one-of-a-kind, exceptional design may push it into the seven-digit price range.When Will 3D-Printed Houses Become Available?Examples of 3D-Printed Houses[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.BioHome3D is a 3D-printed house constructed out of 100 percent bio-based materials. | Video: 3DPrint.comBioHome3DThe University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center is 3D-printing housing structures exclusively from bio-resins and wood fibers to combat labor shortages and widen access to affordable housing. The demo project, known as BioHome3D, begins with a 600-square-foot prototype that features a fully 3D-printed floor and roof. As a whole, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom building is 100-percent recyclable, made up entirely of biodegradable materials, including wood flour. As a prototype, BioHome3D is equipped with monitoring sensors, measuring thermal, environmental and structural elements, to gather resilience-based data to better inform future designs.[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.All East 17th Street Residences feature minimal architectural aesthetics. | Video: FindYourDENEast 17th Street ResidencesThese four Austin, Texas properties by construction 3D-printing company ICON feature open-floor plans, minimal architectural aesthetics and private yards. Varying in size, these residences feature two to four bedrooms and range from 1,000 to 2,000-square-foot homes. Each ground floor level is built with a proprietary cement-based material, dubbed “Lavacrete,” to last longer than traditional construction materials, according to the company’s website. The second story incorporates old-school methods, and is constructed out of black metal cladding and rich-colored timber. They share a color palette of green, white and terracotta and have all been sold.[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.Mikkel Brich, CEO and founder of 3DCP, talks about the future of 3D-printed construction. | Video: COBODHouse 1.0With the help of 3D-printing construction manufacturer COBOD, Danish startup 3DCP Group constructed Europe’s first 3D-printed tiny house last year in just five weeks; however, the structure itself printed in just 22 hours. Located in Hostelbro, Denmark, this 398-square-foot structure is composed of three sections that merge at an open, triangular-shaped core. Inspired by the no-frills aspect of student living, the space is economically laid out and contains all the necessary amenities — a bathroom, open-plan kitchen, living room and loft-style bedroom on a raised level. Sebastian Aristotelis, architect at Saga Space Architects who designed House 1.0, said that the project was built at the lowest possible cost, with developers opting for inexpensive materials, like concrete, and constructing the project using a low-to-no waste approach.More on 3D Printing 25 3D-Printing Companies to Know[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.Watch 3D-printing construction company ICON build House Zero, a luxury 3D-printed house. | Video: ICONHouse ZeroICON teamed with architectural firm Lake|Flato to build a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath residence just outside of downtown Austin, Texas. Its curved walls and rounded corners are insulated with Lavacrete and reinforced with steel. Paired with a one-bedroom, one-bath accessory dwelling unit, ICON’s website styles the 2,350-square-foot property — which printed in under two weeks — as a “mid-century modernist ranch house aesthetics.” Given its design to consume net-zero energy, Time named House Zero to its Best Inventions of 2022 list. In the months since, ICON has broken ground on a 100-home project, projected to be the largest 3D-printed residential community in the United States.[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.Kamp C was built in one piece. | Video: Kamp CKamp CIn just three weeks, Belgian company Kamp C 3D printed its namesake demo house in one piece, at the property location. Developers claim that the building holds a compressive strength three times greater than conventional brick, which is largely credited to a special printer supplied by COBOD, a 3D-printing construction company. Smooth surfaces and thick layers fortify the trial model. Unlike other projects at the time — and even now — this house features two stories and was constructed in one piece. It’s just under 27 feet tall, about the size of a residential telephone pole, and spans 967 square feet. Its sustainable design uses low-energy floor and ceiling heating, sourced from solar panels and a heat pump.[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.Mense-Korte is the first 3D-printed house to pass the building regulations of a national government. | Video: The B1MMense-KorteMense-Korte’s 3D-printed house, located in Beckum, Germany, is the first in the world to become fully certified by a national government’s building regulation. This modernist, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home measures 1,722 square feet of living space, complete with a sophisticated interior and smart-home technology. Fortified by multi-shell walls casted with in-situ concrete, the curvy structure took nearly eight months to build, including 100 hours of active printing time. Amenities like a fireplace, bathtubs and a balcony are integral to the design, with spaces specifically molded for second-fix installations.More on 3D Printing Utility  5 3D Printing Applications in Construction[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.The Quatro residences are built to consume as much energy as they generate. | Video: Mighty BuildingsMighty House QuatroNestled away in a gated, hilltop community in southern California, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects have built a 20-home, net-zero development that aims to consume as much energy as it generates. Constructed in around four months, each home includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms across a 1,171-square-foot space built on top of a hot spring aquifer. Fitted in a modern, minimal aesthetic, these properties include a swimming pool, hot tub, fire pit and floor-to-ceiling windows. The project collaborator, construction company Mighty Buildings, models its manufacturing process after the automotive industry. Operating highly scalable micro-factories, its 3D-printing methods perform at twice the speed of traditional construction, and, as an additive manufacturer, its projects generate 99 percent less waste, according to the company’s website. Mighty Buildings has also developed a proprietary light stone material that cures into a stone-like composite with four times the tensile and flexural strength of concrete materials currently in common practice of architectural 3D printing.[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.Project Milestone was printed in five days and 24 separate parts. | Video: Real Estate & Interior Design Project MilestoneProject Milestone — which consists of five 3D-printed concrete dwellings — was the world’s first commercial housing project in its medium, with full intent to legally house residents. The first of these 1,011-square-foot dwellings was printed in 120 hours on-site as 24 separate parts. Matching their backdrop of Eindhoven, a techy city in the Netherlands known for its cutting-edge design, Project Milestone houses resemble elongated boulders with smooth, rounded edges. With extra-thick insulation and a connection to the heat grid, these structures score high marks in energy efficiency, according to online media platform 3D Natives. Its first tenants, Dutch couple Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekkers, received their key on April 30, 2021.[embedded content]An error occurred.Unable to execute JavaScript. Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.Sourced from local clay, Tecla serves as a proof of concept for sustainable architecture. | Video: WASP TeamTeclaIn development with 3D-printing firm WASP, Italy-based studio Mario Cucinella Architects set out to create bioclimatic, low-carbon proof-of-concept housing in response to escalating climate emergencies and housing crises worldwide. Standing out from the crowd, Tecla’s tan, double-dome structure is constructed out of 350 layers of locally sourced clay from a nearby riverbed. A portmanteau of “technology” and “clay,” Tecla is a 538-square-foot structure that stands at about 15 feet tall and features two skylights. The eco-habitat is made entirely out of organic, bio-materials. Of the 200 hours it took to fully construct the project, the active printing time lasted 72 hours.How much does a 3D-printed house cost?3D-printed houses cost about $10,000 to $400,000 on average, but pricing can vary based on the house’s location, size, amenities and materials used.How long does it take to 3D print a house?To 3D print a house, it may take about 24 hours to three weeks, excluding time for second-fix installations or material transportation if pieces are not printed at the final house location.Where can I buy a 3D-printed house?Some real estate marketplaces like Zillow, or some homeownership assistance programs like Habitat for Humanity, can sell 3D-printed houses.