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Hot Topic: 3D Printing In The Real Estate Sector
The housing crisis in the UK is always in the news and no doubt many in the construction industry and beyond are concerned about what the future holds for the sector, especially now that Article 50 has been triggered and much uncertainty still surrounds Brexit negotiation talks with the remainder of the EU.
But there may be a way for companies to increase their output, even in the face of skill and labour shortages, and even if thousands of EU workers are lost as a result of the UK leaving the EU in two years’ time.
We’re talking about 3D printing, something that’s become quite a hot topic in the real estate sector here in the UK and elsewhere around the world. Earlier this month, for example, 3D printing specialists in Russia and San Francisco Apis Cor successfully 3D printed a house on site in just 24 hours, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Once the house finished printing, the printer was removed using a crane manipulator, with the roof and interior fixtures and fittings added afterwards. And taking this idea to the next level, construction company Cazza has announced that it will be building the world’s first 3D-printed skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates.
According to a report in Construction Week Online, crane printing – a new construction technique – will be used, with cranes brought in with added units that have been specifically designed to build 3D printed structures above 80m.
CEO of Cazza Chris Kelsey told the news source: “Through our technologies, we will be able to build architecturally complex buildings at never-before seen speeds. It is all about economies of scale where the initial high technology costs will reduce as we enter the mass-production phase.”
This is certainly a new and innovative approach to construction and one we expect to really take off in the next couple of years. It might be worth looking into it now if you want to boost your profits and really offer something a little different to get ahead of the competition.
Apis Cor has published some FAQs about 3D printing and construction technology if you’re keen to find out more about it. Apparently, in order to print a building you’ll need a construction 3D printer, accessories like ties, fittings and inserts, a water supply, an electrical connection or an autonomous generator, mobile siles, a feeding unit and automated mortar preparation, as well as a truck crane arm that can hold up to three tonnes to install and move the printer itself.
You place your 3D printer directly on the soil surface, whereupon it will scan the surface of the terrain automatically and then print up a permanent formwork to make up for differences in height of up to ten centimetres. Internal and external walls can be built, as well as vertical fencing structures, precast monolithic slabs, architectural forms like columns and permanent foundation formwork.
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