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]