The smart construction process improves sustainability in building construction by utilizing digital technologies. Smart construction makes use of digital technologies and 3d printing is one of them. Also known as Additive Manufacturing, the 3D printing technology can be utilized in construction.
What is 3D Printing?
Basically, 3D Printing is a technique through which a physical model is constructed from a digital file. The technique makes use of a 3D printer which creates the object layer by layer. However, 3D printing is not for mass production. Instead, you can have customized items in fewer quantities.
Likewise, when applied to the construction process, it is possible to build unique houses and buildings in a lesser area. Significantly the largest 3D printed building is constructed on a floor area of 640 square meters in Dubai.
In addition, 3D printed construction offers a number of benefits to the construction industry. For instance, it results in reduced wastage of material and overcomes the problem of shortage of labor in many countries. Since 3D printed construction requires less time to finish construction as compared to conventional construction, it emits lesser pollution. Therefore it is considered climate-friendly technology.
Process of Construction using 3D Printing
The construction using 3D printing starts with the creation of a digital file called the Building Information Model (BIM). The Building Information Model (BIM) is then converted to a format that is appropriate for a 3D printer. Then, based on the model the construction starts with depositing layers of the material.
Challenges in 3D Printed Construction
In spite of many benefits, 3D printed construction is not yet the mainstream construction business due to several challenges it currently faces. Evidently, 3D-printed construction requires a workforce with special skills in both digital technology and the construction process.
Another challenge is the availability of 3D printing construction material. Similarly, achieving accuracy in building design is also a challenge. Since an incorrect design may result in huge loss.
Also, it requires the use of costly machines that adds to the cost of building. Printing uneven surfaces due to layers and possibility of voids between the layers. This challenge can be overcome by printing smaller layers. However, it would further increase the cost of building.
In fact, 3D Printing in Smart Construction is a major breakthrough in the construction industry. Of course, it is a technology for the future and offers several benefits over the conventional construction process. The major benefits that 3D printing offers are a reduction in the construction time and fewer people involved. Therefore, it is more environmentally friendly and eliminates risky human operations. Accordingly, it is a sustainable technology.