First a house. . .
Back in October, we were amazed to report that WinSun, a Chinese building company, had announced the development of a printer capable of printing a whole house. With their custom printers, WinSun claimed that they were able to manufacture whole houses at the rate of ten per day for a cost of just under $5,000. Rather than printing whole house at once, the WinSun printers print walls out of a mixture of glass fiber and construction waste. The pieces are then constructed into the structure of the home. Now, they have taken it even further, with the a 3D printed apartment building.
Now a mid-rise!
This week, the company announced that it has now taken the technology to a whole new level (ok, that pun was probably intended), by printing a five-story building and a mansion that is more than 10,000 square feet.
From a distance, you would never be able to tell that the buildings were constructed with a 3D printer. Both buildings are attractive with ornamental features in the interiors and exteriors. As you approach the buildings, however, you can begin to see the layers that the house is constructed from.
Although there is certainly an aesthetic difference between the basic, rough exterior of the first house versus the more streamlined appearance of the mid-rise and the rather ornate exterior of the mansion, the basic construction method is nearly identical. As with the original house, the mansion and mid-rise are constructed using a variety of recycled building materials. The printer that is used to build these structures measures 22 feet tall by 33 feet wide by 132 feet long. During the presentation about the buildings, WinSun estimated that they could decrease the production time of a traditional building by 50 to 70 percent, reduce the amount of building materials necessary for construction by up to 60 percent, and decrease labor cost by more than 80 percent.
Where does WinSun Go Now?
The first stage in WinSun’s plan is to simply market the models that they have already developed. The mansion, which can be constructed at a cost of just $161,000, already has ten units pre-ordered.
Looking further down the road, WinSun sees itself offering projects that are bigger and bigger. Soon, WinSun wants to transition to on-site 3D printing. Larger projects under consideration include 3D printed high-rise office buildings and 3D printed bridges.
It’s amazing to see how far 3D printing can come in such a short period of time. If you would like to keep up-to-date on 3D printing news, join our Spectra3D newsletter.
*header image from 3dprint.com