3D printer technology is set to revolutionise the way things are produced. Up until the last few years, the technology has been used mainly for prototyping, but as most of will have read at some point in the last 2 or 3 years, there have been a lot of developments within the 3D printing industry. The printers are becoming more and more available to the public, cheaper and easier to use. It looks like 3D printers could very possibly become a household appliance, allowing users to print high quality objects in 3D in their own home. However, it’s not just personal manufacturing that this technology could affect, there are many more exciting prospects for this type of printer, including construction.
Basic building techniques have changed very little in the last couple of decades. Of course the tools have improved, but overall the work continues to be labour intensive. Modern day construction is still one of the most injury prone industries there are, not only that, but construction takes a relatively long time. This is where a certain type of 3D printing could come in, the whole process of construction could be sped up and the dangers decreased by incredible amounts.
Thinking big with 3D printing
The prospect of buildings being constructed thanks to 3D printer technology appears to be drawing nearer as various systems are being developed, one of which is the Stone Spray Project. Stone Spray uses a 3D printer linked to a jet spray which creates architectural shapes with a mix of soil and binder. This process, created in Spain, is still at the development stage. The aim, it is claimed, is to further develop ‘the boundaries of digital manufacturing and look at the possibility of creating machines which can actually create structures on site. Should Stone Spray be perfected, not only will it be a massive leap for 3D printing technology, but could also provide a rethink in the construction industry.
The role of 3D printing in construction could also be boosted by the adoption of ‘D-Shape’. Here, the technology is used for the design of the structure and its actual construction. For D-Shape to be implemented it would mean a massive rethink in how structures are built, especially in terms of the materials used and construction machinery. The proponents of this technology claim that it would enable architects to not only plan, but also build, structures using robotic building machines.
This could well, of course, mean buildings are able to be constructed far more quickly. This offers many advantages. Housing programmes, for instance, could be finished in a much shorter time. The 3D printer could, however, be the death-knell of the construction industry as we know it. It would no longer be anywhere near so labour intensive, the down side to this being the potential loss of jobs among construction workers and those working in ancillary industries. This is where the these sort of projects could potentially fail and be stopped, if the 3D printer construction could not generate at least some of the jobs that would be lost to the technology then the tech probably won’t be used at all.
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This post was written by Kyle, a content writer for an ink retail site online.PS: Digging this story, news or review? Let us know! Comments open.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is a professional self-employed blogger and the founder / owner of Technology Blogged. 22, with a love for good writing, you'll find me playing 'Drag Racing' on my HTC One X and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to my feed for unique editorials. Find me on Google+. View author profile.