China-based WinSun Uses 3D Printing to Create Homes
The scale of 3D printing has undoubtedly ramped up in the past few years. Although most of the exciting advancements are related to printing with materials such as metals, sugar and even paper, China-based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. are the first to use 3D printing technology to build housing.
Their first two structures were a 6-story building and a villa. WinSun used a machine measuring 20 feet tall, 33 feet wide and 132 feet long to extrude a material composed of recycled construction material blend of sand, concrete, fiberglass and a special hardening agent. The company also claims the material is flexible, self-insulating and resistant to seismic activity.
Their impressive machine can print up to one floor a day. According to the company, 3D printing a home with their technique saves up to 60 percent of the materials and 80 percent labor is needed.
On the outside, the structures seem like any other ordinary building. The impressive columns and walls don’t show anything that implicates its additive manufacturing method.
The villa can easily fit into some of the neighborhoods of LA’s wealthy neighborhoods like Hancock Park or Beverly Hills mansions. Given the fact that the 3D printing method is much cheaper than traditional construction methods, this could be a solution to California’s ongoing housing shortage. If the structures are as earthquake-proof as WinSun claims and if the design will pass local building codes, I don’t see any better solution for the Golden State.