3D Concrete Printing and Its Effects on the Construction Industry

Written by Melody Eve Ramos, AMAST Content

Photo credit Alex Hu, unsplash.com

In recent years, 3D concrete printing has gotten lots of attention for being a potential solution to the hefty carbon footprint associated with traditional cement production. It is also looked to as a solution to work automation and combating the shortage of skilled construction workers. While the 3D printing industry is still nascent, experts forecast a 300% growth in use in the next five years. Here are some of the ways 3D concrete printing can make a difference in the construction industry.

Reduced Cost of Materials

One of the benefits of 3D printers is that they use the exact amount of concrete needed for a project. Builders no longer have to order supplies in bulk, vastly reducing wasted inventory, thus saving on project costs.

Reduced Injury

Working with concrete is very dangerous. 3D printing can vastly reduce the risk to construction workers because of its automated process. This means workers have an easier and safer time doing their jobs, and contractors have less instances of paying out workers comp.

Faster Construction

Because of the automated process of 3D printing, the printer directly brings a digital design into the physical. Projects can get done much faster than they would through traditional concrete building methods. This means contractors can take on more projects, thus increasing revenue, and clients get to be in their homes even faster. A win, win.

Innovative Designs

If you can dream it, a 3D printer can print it. Therefore, the use of 3D concrete printing allows builders to offer clients unique floor plans that are designed for them alone. This can greatly increase the potential number of clients for a contractor.

It is worth noting that while 3D concrete printing can bring great advancements to the construction industry, there are some downfalls:

● The implementation of automating the concrete process could further reduce the need for skilled construction laborers.

● Transportation of the 3D printer to and from work sites may prove the need for specialty vehicles that can increase production cost.

● Since 3D concrete printing isn’t currently the standard practice, it is more costly than traditional concrete creation methods.

Though there are currently challenges with 3D printed concrete, it’s worth keeping an eye on the industry. With time and advancements in technology, those challenges should be solved and the pros will outweigh the cons.

Works Cited

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652621014207

https://bit.ly/openpr3dconcreteprinting

https://www.giatecscientific.com/education/8-ways-that-3d-printing-has-transformed-the-construction-industry/

https://www.whirlwindsteel.com/blog/impacts-of-3d-printing-on-the-construction-industry