Chinese factory 3D prints 10 houses' worth of slabs in one day

A Chinese R&D shop has 3D printed 10 buildings' worth of prefab slabs using enormous fused deposition modelling printers that extrude concrete.

The prefab slabs were printed in one day, and will be fitted together at the site itself. Each building's slabs cost about $5000.

Like their desktop counterparts, the construction-grade WinSun 3D printers use a fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology to deposit materials one layer at a time in a process that's similar to squeezing frosting from a pastry bag.

Using a CAD design as a template, a computer controls a mechanical extruder arm to lay down concrete, which is treated with special hardeners so that each layer is strong enough to support the next.

The buildings are constructed in parts inside a Yingchuang New Materials factory, one wall at a time. The pieces are subsequently joined together at a construction site.

3D printer constructs 10 buildings in one day from recycled materials [Lucas Mearian/Computerworld]

(via /.)

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  1. omems says:

    My friend is mildly impressed but has concerns about their ability to withstand the shear forces of an earthquake or the concussive damage of a mortar attack.

  2. The day is coming, and it isn't far away, when we'll all be able to digitally shit a brick.

  3. I believe the extruded material is also known as 'ticky-tacky', essentially the same, though in a different form, from that which Pete Seeger referenced.

  4. The first iteration of a technology usually looks pretty rubbish, and this is no exception, but if the usual trend follows, eventually we'll be able to 3D-print houses that look remotely livable.

  5. Yeah, It does seem to be the start of something big, but a concrete printer alone doesn't seem like a good home builder. particularly given that concrete is heavy, fragile, not a good water barrier on its own. Etc. now if the wiring and plumbing could be preinstalled and the printer could also spray in foam insulation and place rebar in the mix and then coat the walls in a smooth finish, you might get somewhere.

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