No this isn’t the Jetsons’ and Nicolas Cage isn’t gonna pop out looking like John Travolta but I tell you this is some cool futuristic business! 3D printing has already taken off in the Netherlands with a company purchasing a cement printer to start printing stress-tested bicycle bridges much like the pedestrian bridge first printed in Spain in 2016. In Dubai at the Future Foundation, they printed a 2,691 Sf building in 17 days with 18 people to show how 3D printing can reduce cost, waste, and time for the construction industry. In Shanghai, they used their 3D printer to create blocks off-site to construct a villa as well as a 5-floor apartment building not to mention the houses they were printing that they claimed would cost $5,000. 3D printing isn’t just for making a whole building! At the University of California in Berkeley they’ve shown that 3D printed lattice used to reinforce concrete has made it more flexible as well as 4 times stronger.
So is this futuristic machinery going to come in and save the construction industry from its labor shortage? No. This tech is still quite new and needs more fine-tuning and testing before it can become more widely available, nevermind the costs of purchasing and training on one of these fine technological marvels!
Check out the links below for more on 3D printing!