The Chinese machine that prints houses

Although China is already recognised as a country where large building projects can be constructed in relatively short periods of time, a firm based in Suzhou has recently found a way of erecting ten homes in only 24 hours.

The company, known as Winsun New Materials, makes supplies for the construction industry and, over the last 12 years, has developed a huge 3D printer that is large enough to ‘print’ houses.

The printer, which cost 20m yuan (the equivalent of about £1.9m) to produce, is ten metres wide, more than six metres tall and 150 metres in length. It uses a mixture of glass fibres and cement as its ‘ink’, which prints out layers of material. These are then stacked to form the finished house.

As well as being a speedy process, this innovative printing method is around 50% cheaper than traditional building techniques. The unusual construction process is not likely to take off in the near future, however, because of problems raised by China’s building regulations.

It is hoped that future homes built using the printer will be more sustainable, as Winsun wants to use waste materials from mining and building sites to create the machine’s ‘ink’.

Although North Wales does not currently possess the technology needed to print new buildings on demand, it does have some ground-breaking architecture, such as the Snowdon Visitor Centre and Anglesey’s Copper Kingdom. Anyone hoping to create a striking building project in the area should consult an architect in North Wales for advice, and to ensure a professional and sustainable result.

Posted by Mark
April 24, 2014
Developments

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