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China Build Technology

Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day 118

Lucas123 writes: A company in China has used additive manufacturing to print 10 single-room buildings out of recycled construction materials in under a day as offices for a Shanghai industrial park. The cost: about $5,000 each. The company, Suzhou-based Yingchuang New Materials, used four massive 3D printers supplied by the WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. Each printer is 20 feet tall, 33 feet wide and 132 feet long. Like their desktop counterparts, the construction-grade 3D printers use fused deposition modeling (FDM), where instead of thermoplastics layer after layer of cement is deposited atop one another. The cement contains hardeners that make each layer firm enough for the next. Yingchuang's technique builds structures off site in a factory one wall at a time. The structures are then assembled onsite. The technique is unlike U.S.-based Contour Crafting, a company whose 3D printing technology to form the entire outer structure of buildings at once, The Yingchuang factory and research center, a 33,000 square foot building, was also constructed using the 3D printing manufacturing technique. It only took one month to construct.
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Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

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  • by richy freeway ( 623503 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:42PM (#47372291)

    From the article : "The machines can also automatically embed all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning, as well as place electronic sensors to monitor the building's temperature and health over time."

  • Re: Is it safe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @07:33PM (#47372873)

    Well, if they can solve the problem of rebar, then buckling won't be an issue anymore, since rebar has proper strength from the get-go. I don't really see a slower machine being much better than a fast one. The overall size of the machine depends on what you fabricate, not how fast you go about it (within reasonable limits of concrete pouring).

    If I were to make a product out of it, I'd have a 5 axis machine with switchable heads. One head with an extra axis or two that can put out, restrain, cut and spot-weld rebar. Another head that can print concrete. With a 5 axis machine you can trivially print concrete on the surface of rebar going in any orientation. Heck, if they use a mix with fast initial cure, they can do skin/infill just like plastic 3D printers do, except that the infill uses a less viscous mix that self-levels. This could dramatically speed it up, and you wouldn't need to print around every piece of rebar but only some trickier ones.

    This could be very much a breakthrough technology, but it would need a bit of capital investment as those machines wouldn't be cheap. For very large constructions, instead of X-Y-Z linear actuators you would need a delta-style arm []. Even a big one could be assembled on site and print an entire highway overpass in a week or two, starting with nothing but a hole in the ground.

Air is water with holes in it.