WinSun, A Chinese company has for the first time ever successfully 3D printed a five-story apartment building from special print material. In March of 2014, WinSun built 10 houses in just 24 hours using a proprietary 3D printed that used a mix of ground construction and industrial waste, like glass and tailings, around a base of quick-drying cement mixed with a hardening agent. Pretty wild, huh?
This is WinSun’s greatest work yet though, a 5 story apartment building, as well as an 1100 square meter villa, complete with decorative elements.
The 3D printer array, developed by Ma Yihe, is about 6 and a half meters high, 10 meters wide and 40 meters long. It fabricates the pieces of these buildings for WinSun. The structures are then assembled on site, wherever it is they need to be built. These structures are reinforced with steel and insulation, complying with all of the local building standards.
Although the company hasn’t revealed how large it can print pieces, based on photographs on its website, they are quite sizeable. A CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material “much like how a baker might ice a cake,” WinSun said. The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation.
This process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and can decrease production times by between 50 and 70 percent, and labour costs by between 50 and 80 percent. In all, the villa costs around $161,000 to build.
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