The world of rapid prototyping and 3D printing is ever expanding, taking the world one amazing feat at a time. Today, rapid prototyping services are much coveted by renowned industries. Already, there is an entire 3D printed village under construction over at Shamballa, Italy which is a huge, spectacular project. An independent hobbyist and architect used 3D printing in order to print his own cement castle at his backyard. There will soon be a 3D printed bridge in the Netherlands. These achievements prove that rapid prototyping can be a useful tool for not only aerospace or automotive engineers, but for civil engineers too.
The construction and building industry has seen many such advances in rapid prototyping in the past few years. This time though, a 3D printed house is about to make its debut in China. Located at Shandong province, this 3D printed house is already being constructed as you read this article. This is indeed great news for engineers and enthusiasts alike who would like to see rapid prototyping take construction of habitable structures to the next level.
Initially though, there have been both doubt and questions as to why rapid prototyping has not left its necessary footprint in the construction industry. It is in fact the rather quiet approach of engineers who are working with construction which is responsible for the developments not garnering enough attention. The recent developments in the industry have been rather quiet. However, there actually exists real proof of concept structures such as the newest 3D printed house in Shandong, China. The specific location of the house is at Binzhou City, situated in Shandong Province at the East of China. The news of this house is only being released to the media and general public. The builder of this 3D printed home actually claims that this house took only two months to build, was very cost effective and environment friendly as well. The house has been fabricated out of concrete.
The released pictures of the house are a proof of how aesthetically pleasing parts can be created using rapid prototyping services. The house looks like a joy to own as it is furnished with a floor plan of Jiangnan style, including two courtyards where one can enjoy the fresh breeze. The builders refer to the construction as a park project, titled Binzhou Creative Industry Park Project. According to Liao Xiaojun, the project leader, currently, the first phase of the rapid prototyping construction project is going on.
The house made out of 3D printing though, is almost ready for a move in. It has all the conventional amenities such as standard air conditioning. The other buildings of the project are to be given a similar getup. By the time the second part of the project begins and is completed, there will be an aesthetically appealing park created for citizens, which will have other buildings for experiments, entrepreneurship training and other facilities.
Even though the builders are aware of the waves that rapid prototyping is creating and that 3D printing is even sometimes referred to as gimmicky; they are quite optimistic about the future of it in the Chinese construction industry. They state that the rapid prototyping services are becoming revolutionary around the world in the construction industry, and China is not far behind. According to Xiaojun, the company sees rapid prototyping becoming a trend for future construction not just because of the short completion time of projects, but also due to the ease of customization that the home owner is provided.
The whopping two months of completion of the project was by dint of the massive 3D printers that were brought in for speed in production. Besides, liquid inks and computer control ensured pinpoint precision. The height of each printer used was around six meters and width was twenty meters. The great accuracy provided by them accounted for less material wastage. Hence, the project, eliminating massive wastage, becomes environmentally friendly. The construction process is devoid of the dust, noise and problems of traditional methods.
Every layer of material had a thickness of around three centimeters which were stacked upon one another till the construction of the house was completed. The aesthetics provided and the comforts given are pleasant; including structural integrity, electrical features and expected insulation that home owners look for- along with custom architecture.
The price point of the houses stand at around five thousand Yuan per square meter, which are going to reduce as there is more and more progress of technology. Xiaojun states that these 3D printed houses are not all that expensive.
Previously, there have been other great success stories of rapid prototyping in the Chinese construction industry including building of modular homes and a six storied apartment building with 3D printed components. There have been advances in building air conditioners, aircraft parts and great hobby items such as a 3D printed bike- all with rapid prototyping.
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