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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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  • Is it safe? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:07PM (#47372055)

    Do we know how safe it is to work or live in a building made of these chemicals?

    I remember when portables started being added to schools, it was determined all the various chemicals in them were making kids and teachers sick.

    They need to determine the potential effects on health first.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:12PM (#47372091) Homepage

    Those structures are bigger and sturdier than a tiny house [] with the added advantage of being made from recycled building materials.

    The real question is structural strength and integrity and what agents are they using to make the mix dry fast. The Chinese could be using some nasty chemicals that wouldn't fly in building materials over here (Chinese drywall anyone?).

    Still, if the units end up being even roughly equivalent to poured concrete, I could see living in a printed house, no problem.

  • Re:Not sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:43PM (#47372293)

    But not this method of printing half walls in a factory which are then assembled on-site, I'm not sure what they're gaining by doing it this way.

    I assume you missed the part about building 10 single-room buildings in a day for $5,000 each.

  • Advantage? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SlayerofGods ( 682938 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:44PM (#47372297)

    While 3d printing is cool and all what advantage does 'printing' concrete slabs offer or normal precast molds and just pouring the concrete in the old fashion way?
    The article doesn't make it clear, but since this is a company and not an experiment one has to assume they see sort of useful reason in doing it this way, but for the life of me I don't see what it is.
    If you're using a mold for concrete it's almost literally as fast as you can pour the concrete when using one...

  • No, They Didn't (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:46PM (#47372311) Homepage Journal

    RE: the headline

    No. From TFA:

    Yingchuang New Materials Inc. was able to print the shells of 10 one-room structures in 24 hours

    The way this summary is worded, they make it sound like this company actually printed the buildings in place. Which did not, in fact, happen.

  • Re:Not sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @07:57PM (#47373015) Homepage

    Well you see the whole show was technically an illusion. The extrusion process for the material is really neither here nor there. The computer control of a concrete pump and the outlet of a house. The real important information that everyone is ignoring is the concrete mix. What is in it, how are they achieve higher extrudability with low slump [], what is the compressive and tensile strength of the concrete, how is it being reinforced, what are it's insulative properties, how is moisture movement being controlled, what happens when ice forms and how does it handle cracking. Exactly how toxic is the mix and how safe is it to use. What happens when you cut and drill into it.

    Everyone loves to focus on 3D printing whilst ignoring the material the is used to do the printing and how it actually performs.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.