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Your 3D printed home aspirations are not a pipe-dream.
3D printing of concrete is part of the solution by reducing waste, time to build and transport cost.
At the same time, the technology offers architects freedom in the shape and form of their designs.
Houses can be built based on the material life cycle.
That can be used in evaluating the environmental sustainability of building materials.
Creating the buildings with complicated shapes may become one of the biggest advantages for most architects.
Their imagination will be able to defeat previous obstacles, related to the limitation of traditional techniques of building.
3D printing may transform nowadays architecture. Nevertheless, this technique should be developed taking into consideration sustainability issues both for material selection and construction method.
There are numerous advantages coming from developing 3D technology in construction.
Imagine building a 3D printed home that is solar powered, and takes advantage of all of the green technologies available to make NetZero living. This is currently one of the only likely options, to become available soon to the average income earner seeking an environmentally and financially responsible option. It is, perhaps, the best way to be able to construct a home that will be permittable and sustainable, for far less than any other construction method.
3D Printed Home Advantages
- Lower costs – the cost of a 3D printed home is much lower than traditional construction methods, also material transportation and storage on sites is limited
- Environmental friendly construction processes and the use of raw materials with low embodied energy (i.e. construction and industrial wastes)
- Reduced number of injuries and fatalities onsite as the printers will be able to do most hazardous and dangerous works.
- Wet construction processes are minimized, so that building erection process generates less material wastes and dust compared to traditional methods;
- Time savings – time required to complete the building can be considerably reduced.
On the other hand, there are still a lot of anxieties that need to be considered.
The main unknown is, if developing the 3D printing technology will not take jobs from thousands of qualified workers.
The Main Techniques for 3D Printing of Concrete are:
Layering concrete is an extrusion-based process. A robotically controlled nozzle pours layers of concrete one on top of the other to produce free-form shapes. Layer upon layer of wet concrete is extruded to rapidly produce components several meters high. It typically takes around one hour, to produce a 1m strip of a 1m high, 30cm wide wall. The nozzles can be mounted on a gantry or a robotic arm and extrude any free-form shape according to the inputted design.
Powder bed and binder techniques
For the powder bed and binder method of 3D printing. A deposition material of anything from fine powder to coarse granular material up to around 5mm diameter can be used. After spraying a bed of a deposition material, a thin layer of binder is placed to bond the material together. Using a chemical binder or a resin with thin layers of granular material, the design is built up by spraying alternate layers of binder and granular material. To reveal the final form, any unbounded material is removed after printing.
Reinforcement mesh turning the idea of printing concrete on its head. An alternative technology being pursued is to generate a reinforcement mesh and then fill it in with concrete. In this way, the mesh is used as a permanent formwork. Branch Technology is using some of the largest freeform robots in the world to form polyethylene meshes. These meshes are then used either as the final lattice structure or as the skeleton of a structure in which concrete is poured into the mesh to create reinforced concrete.
The density of the mesh is determined by finite-element analysis based on the stresses in the structure. Design of the mesh is driven by buckling of the individual elements. This local behavior drives the strength of the global pieces. By inserting a lightweight concrete in between the mesh, the strength can be doubled as it forms a restraint to increase the buckling load. Spray foam insulation has also been used, as the density can be amended.
With these tips in mind, you can build a 3D printed home for under 5K. Now that the technology is out there it won’t be too long before you can do this. Of course we will have building codes and government municipalities to contend with. Certainly, the approval process will take longer than the actual development of this extraordinary technology.
ICON Build is a company that built the first permitted printed home in Austin Texas in 2018. The company claims that they are upgrading the technology and will be able to reduce the build time of their homes from 48 hours to 24 hours by 2019 when they will begin producing homes on a large scale in the US. For more information on this company and it’s progress see the ICON Build company FAQ and sign up for their newsletter.[tqb_quiz id=’19923′]
Interior Design Ideas For A Small House (Tiny House Ideas) – by Joy Bender
The Tiny House Movement – by Kevin Vitali
New Advancements in Sustainable Construction – by Debbie Drummond
Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment – by Karen Highland
How to Make Energy Efficiency Part of the Property Value – by Anita Clark