Ever since the beginning of man, technology has advanced at a rapid rate. From the prehistoric stone ages to the 18th century manufacturing processes of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen some serious advancements in technology, but none possibly more so than 3D Printing.
3D printing refers to various processes used to synthetically create a three-dimensional object from successive layers of material and is quickly being regarded by some as the beginning of the next industrial revolution.
As 3D printers become faster, easier to use and handle multiple types of materials, it is only a matter of time before they find use well beyond today’s common use of prototyping.
Early in its existence, the capabilities of 3D printing had been deemed limited due to not being capable or cost effective enough for high-volume or large scale manufacturing. However with continued advancements in technology, high expectations of these shortcomings changing are soon to be reality.
With new classes of entry to mid-level 3D printers becoming more affordable for everyday use, whilst still maintaining many high-end desktop features, it is only a matter of time before the face of innovation changes the way we manufacture and do business completely. How soon will it be until we see applied panels, cabinet carcases, or components manufactured within the household by 3D printing at the click of a button?
Well, to put it in perspective, Chinese company Zhuoda Group have already developed a secret formula of printing entire houses, in a way that is so very unique to other forms of 3D printing large structures that commonly use concrete as a base for construction. That’s right, the most advanced form of manufacturing of our generation has been further advanced again!
This unique process is so secretive, it has resulted in Zhuoda Group applying for over 22 patents. Claiming their fabricated structures are strong enough to withstand 9.0 magnitude earthquakes, stand up to harsh weather and provide superior insulation. The structures are manufactured into six separate modules, each weighing a mere 100 kilograms and in addition to this, the structures are also fireproof and waterproof. All of this despite being constructed in only 10 days from production to installation.
Building houses from 3D printers isn’t unprecedented either. World’s Advance Saving Project (WASP), an engineering company based in Italy have constructed a 40 foot tall, 20 foot wide 3D printer. Their goal? To solve the global housing crises by constructing houses using sustainable materials with a 3D printer. Whilst Shanghai-based company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering is also showing of it’s latest feat of innovative construction by 3D printing 5-story apartment blocks, homes and villas (Check out the video below).
So is this euphoria or should we proceed with a level head? Admittedly, much remains to be explored within the large scale 3D printing process, particularly regarding safety, however we are certainly on the threshold of a new era within construction and manufacturing. If the technology is shared and becomes accessible to everyone, 3D printing could certainly change the world as well as the way we do business and in the grand scheme of things, is much closer than we think.
For more information about World’s Advanced Saving Project’s mission, visit: www.wasproject.it
Above: Shanghai-based company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering showing of it’s latest feat of innovative construction.