A 3D building printer is a machine that can build houses by depositing a material (e.g., concrete) layer by layer. 3D printing of concrete – aka “Construction 4.0” – is a 3D printing technology similar to that used by 3D FFF (molten wire deposition) printers. Paste material, in this case, concrete or sludge, is pushed through a nozzle to form layers. In the building sector, 3D printing of concrete saves time, money and raw materials .

Indeed, only the frame of the house is built; other items, such as windows, electricity or plumbing, must be installed separately. 3D concrete printers, however, can be used to print bridges, benches, or just outdoor decorations.

To provide a comprehensive overview of the 3D printer market for construction, we have identified 12 3D home printing solutions.

HOW TO PRINT A HOUSE IN 3D?

Here we will elaborate on how 3D printers can print houses in 3D through the extrusion of dough.

The technology used for 3D printing of houses

3D printers in the house use extrusion technology. Some 3D building printers resemble FFF / FDM desktop 3D printers (Gantry or Gantry type), while others consist of a mechanical arm swiveling on itself.

In both cases, pasty material such as concrete is used as filament. The content is pushed through a special nozzle to form layers. Simply put, the extrusion of dough can be compared to the use of a pastry bag to spread icing on a cake.

Ecological: 3D printed homes can be built with organic and environmentally friendly materials. In addition, some 3D concrete printers use solar energy and generate low CO2 emissions.

Affordable : 3D home printers can build inexpensive homes with organic materials, which holds great promise for regions of the world affected by poverty or natural disasters.

Economies of scale : 3D home printing reduces some construction costs. Thus, the price of a square meter of the wall is about $ 75 with traditional construction methods, while it can go down to $ 27 with the Apis Cor 3D printer.

Effective : Because the materials needed for 3D home printing are printed on demand, machines produce less waste. In addition, 3D construction printers can finish the foundations of a home in a few days, while traditional construction methods take weeks or even months.

Flexible : With a 3D concrete printer, it’s easy to create curved walls and unique façades. (Fortunately, it is possible to print furniture in 3D so that they are adapted to curves!)

Limitations of 3D building printing

Costly initial investment: The price of a home 3D printer can reach up to a million dollars.

Partial Construction: 3D home printers only build the building’s frame. The 3D printing process is usually interrupted to install plumbing, electricity, and rebar manually.

Uneven exterior surface: Most exterior surfaces of 3D printed houses are not as smooth as those of traditional homes.

Lack of certification: construction sites are regulated by law. There are many important safety standards to follow, which can be difficult with 3D printing techniques (variable repeatability, dimensional stability, etc.).