China's WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co has once again made waves in the global building and construction industry, creating a standalone villa and six-storey residential house with a giant 3D printer.
The structures, unveiled at the Suzhou Industrial Park in China’s Jiangsu Province, were produced piece by piece with an offsite machine measuring seven metres tall, 10 metres wide, and 40 metres long, Design Boom reported.
Recycled building materials were used as feedstock, and include concrete, fibreglass, sand and a hardening agent. This specially formulated ink was chosen because it is flexible, resistant to strong earthquakes, and self-insulating.
Fabricated offsite with a diagonal reinforced print pattern, the structural components and walls were shipped in and pieced together onsite. 3dprint reports that the team then placed beam columns, steel rebar and insulation within the walls, reserving space for pipelines, windows and doors.
According to WinSun, 3D printing helps save 60 per cent of materials, 70 per cent of time and 80 per cent of the labour that would traditionally be required when building a typical home.
The company made international headlines last year when it 3D printed 10 houses in just 24 hours, at a cost of US$4,800 for each house. It holds 98 Chinese patents for construction materials, and first developed a nozzle for 3D printing buildings in 2004-2005.