A private company located in eastern China has printed ten full-size houses using a huge 3D printer in the space of a day. The process utilizes quick-drying cement, but the creators are being careful not to reveal the secrets of the technology.
China’s WinSun company, used a system of four 10 meter wide by 6.6 meter high printers with multi-directional sprays to create the houses. Cement and construction waste was used to build the walls layer-by-layer, state news agency Xinhua reported.
“To obtain natural stone, we have to employ miners, dig up blocks of stone and saw them into pieces. This badly damages the environment,” stated Ma Yihe, the inventor of the printers. Yihe has been designing 3D printers for 12 years and believes his process to be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
“But with the 3D printing, we recycle mine tailings into usable materials. And we can print buildings with any digital design our customers bring us. It’s fast and cheap,” Yihe said.
Using this technology means that construction workers can be saved from exposure to hazardous or dusty working environments, Yihe added.
Thus far, quality checks for printed buildings are undertaken on a piece-by-piece basis, as there are no building codes for them and 3D printed houses are not legislated for under Chinese law.
While the current batch of houses are standalone, one-storey structures, the company hopes its technology will eventually be used to make skyscrapers.