When people started conversing about applying 3D printing technology within the construction industry, they discovered how profitable and convenient it can be for this industry. The surprising and amazing advantages of 3D printing technology has made it look like this technology was created just for the construction industry!
The buzz around 3D printed houses has been on a growing trend, as more and more people embrace this amazing technology.
The first 3D-printed house in the U.S. was launched at Austin’s South in 2018. The 650-square-foot house made of concrete material was printed onsite at an approximate cost of $10,000. (Source)
Since then, other 3D printed construction projects have been underway in the neighborhood in Southern Mexico in a measure to avail over 50 houses to poverty-stricken families prone to natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. 3D printed houses are expected to help the affected areas withstand extreme weather conditions. (Source)
For more on this, check out our post : Are 3D Printed Houses Hurricane Proof?
Today, Dubai is the home to the world’s largest 3D printed house, a 2-story building that is 6,900 square feet and 31 feet tall. Dubai is also on the road to having 25 percent of its new buildings constructed using 3D printing technology by the year 2030. (Source)
Just like any other things in life, we have both merits and demerits to 3D printed houses and 3D printing technology in general, Let us have a look at some advantages and disadvantages that comes with 3D printing technology in the housing industry.
- Advantages of 3D Printed Houses
- Disadvantages associated with 3D printed houses
- Final Thoughts
Advantages of 3D Printed Houses
1- Design capabilities and versatility
Instead of having to enlist the help of architects, house owners can use 3D printing technology to customize their desired house shape and proceed with building in the blueprint phase without incurring a hefty price tag. (Source)
2- Speed (Quick)
Generally, it does not even take 24 hours to construct a small 3D-printed house. However, this build-out process is typically done in waves instead of doing it all at once. On average, the walls of a one-story house may take up to a week to 3d print.
3- Cost savings
3D printed houses are surprisingly cheap to construct, costing approximately $10,000 on average today. Leaders within the 3D printed houses industry such as ICON are hopeful that there are high chances this cost will even go down in the future to as low as $4,000 with the advancement of technology. (Source)
With the use of additive manufacturing, 3D printed houses construction involves production at almost no waste hence, saving more money and time
Once other costs of electrical, plumbing and other additional construction costs have been added, the final average cost should be approximately $140,000-$160,000 today. Find out more in our post titled How Much Does a 3D Printed House Cost?
Due to the scalability and cheap cost of 3D printed houses, companies and nonprofit organizations are teaming up to address the nightmare of homelessness in low-income dwelling with this amazing technology.
3D house construction has helped boost a shorter supply chain with less wastage due to over-engineering. The reduction in waste and process makes 3D printed houses deemed it to be a more sustainable option. For more on this, check out our post: Are 3D Printed Houses / Structures Sustainable?
5- Environmentally friendly
3D printers basically use more eco-friendly printing materials when printing 3D printed houses. The process usually generates less CO2 emissions compared to other construction methods. Both of which are environmentally friendly.
Disadvantages associated with 3D printed houses
1- Typically, can’t construct an entire house
While it’s practical to construct an entire house using 3D printing technology, it is not common for an entire house to be printed. Other conventional construction methods will still be involved in the process. For example, check out How Do Electricity and Plumbing Work With 3d Printed Houses?
2- Take jobs from laborers
With the emergence of 3D printing technology within the construction industry, contractors now require very few workers on-site to help with the job that requires manual input, pushing many construction workers out of work
3- Big upfront costs
In case, you are looking forward to 3D printing your own house, the massive 3D printer(s) you will need to achieve this will certainly balloon the total cost of construction higher than just purchasing a normal house. Find out more in our article titled Can I Build My Own 3D Printed House? Hidden Costs & Prices of Construction 3D Printers !
4- Lack of smooth finish
Since 3D printed house concrete involves printing layer by layer, the final finish of the house is likely to have noticeable layers, giving it a rough finish. Some people may not like this rough exterior finish.
While the invention of 3D-printed houses seems out of the world, this great construction technology is already revolutionizing the idea of house construction today. The low construction cost that comes with 3D printing technology makes the dream of owning a house within reach by many populations.
While just a handful of 3D printed houses have been constructed to scale to date, various technological advancements have been put in place to support this approach within the construction industry to be better, cheaper, and faster than the conventional construction methods.
With these advantages and disadvantages in mind, you would need to make your sole decision if 3D printed house is the best route for you. In any case, 3D printing technology within the construction industry is a super exciting technology with great potential to change the face of the construction industry forever.