Instead of ink, 3D printers for construction deposit building materials, like wet concrete, bricks or even wooden pieces, using a print head or nozzle that can move in 3 dimensions.
The whole structure of a house can be printed in hours or days. Hardly any labour is involved, so the cost is limited to the materials cost – plus, of course, the costs for transporting and using the printer.
Many news articles mention only the cost of the raw materials, or even the “expected” cost of materials. These can be as low as 44-5000, but that’s a bit misleading. As long as most other parts of the house need to be built traditionally (foundation, windows, roofs, plumbing…) 3D printing will only reduce the cost of the structure.
3D printed building is smart
- Very fast to build structure
- Low labour cost
- Little wastage
Limitations of 3d construction
- So far, only builds the shell
- Surfaces can be hard to finish, or insulate, requiring more labour and materials in the rest of the building
- Installations may become more difficult