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Top 10 ways 3D Printing will change construction

As interest in 3D printing in the construction sector intensifies, here are 10 ways the industry will need to adapt to this emerging technology

|Dec 7|magazine4 min read

The reality of 3D printing in the construction industry took a major step forward in 2020, with several projects being announced and completed that illustrate the potential of the technology in terms of real-world applications.

In Germany, Peri is working on the first 3D-printed apartment building in Germany, while also proving that the technology is suitable to build large-scale dwellings that are cheaper and quicker to build when compared to traditional construction methods (click here).  

Meanwhile, in Dubai, the world’s largest 3D-printed building was verified by the Guinness Book of Records (pictured), with the structure comprising 640sqm of space and standing 9.5 metres tall. The company behind the project, Apis Cor, says its aim is to prove that the technology can be used to build affordable housing in a way that was not possible with traditional construction. 

These projects, and several more like them around the world, are harbingers of the change that is coming to the global construction industry. The concrete 3D printing market is projected to be valued at $56.4 million by 2021, with growth spurred by the amount of new, innovative projects being planned.

As the Peri project shows, these changes aren’t just coming from grassroot companies, but also from major multinational players. In 2017, France’s Vinci, one of the world’s largest construction firms, bough a stake in XtreeE, a French start up company that specialises in 3D printing concrete structural elements.

More recently, BAM opened their first concrete printing centre in Europe in the Netherlands, where the factory will be tasked to deliver several 3D-printed bridges throughout the region.

Therefore, with 3D printing gathering pace, here are 10 ways in which the technology will benefit the construction industry: