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Advantages of 3D printing in the construction industry

In the construction industry, 3D printing technology conforms to the development of the Industrial Revolution, making large-scale personalized production possible, gradually realizing rapid construction and industrial production, and creating a large number of new materials that cannot be produced by traditional processes. This will Bring about major changes in the global manufacturing economy.
3D printing architecture is an emerging technology that uses industrial robots to repeatedly lay material layers layer by layer to construct free-form architectural structures. This process principle is called additive manufacturing, and a finished product is ultimately formed through layer-by-layer accumulation. Its composition is basically the same as that of a traditional printer, consisting of control components, mechanical components, print heads, consumables and media. According to the complete three-dimensional model data designed on the computer, the materials are printed out in layers and superimposed layer by layer through an operating program, and finally, the three-dimensional model on the computer is turned into the actual building. A house or a group of houses, even if each building has a different shape, can be automatically constructed by running a program.

Compared with traditional construction techniques, the main advantages of 3D construction printing technology are:
1. The construction speed must be at least 10 times faster, and factors such as building type and complexity will not increase construction costs;
2. Since the entire process is controlled by computer programs, construction directly based on CAD design will only produce an error of 5~10mm. The precision and design freedom allowed by this technology was unheard of in the past, and problems between architects and workers will no longer hinder construction. The design ideas that the designer wants to express are:
3. No templates are required; it is highly customizable and has good plasticity. It can print out any detailed features, complex surfaces, pipes, etc.
4. Allows consumers to customize products according to their own needs;
5. The absence of manual intervention means that the risk of casualties in the construction industry is greatly reduced, a large amount of labor is saved, and the cost of safety measures used in construction is reduced.
6. Materials can be obtained locally, greatly saving construction transportation costs;
7. Due to the integral structure, the seismic performance of the building is greatly enhanced;
8. Can adapt to harsh environments, such as construction in extremely harsh environments with man-made construction conditions such as plateaus, snowy mountains, deserts, oceans, and even extraterrestrial planets;
9. Can be used in the protection of ancient cultural relics to accurately restore damaged and lost parts of ancient buildings;
10. It can reduce construction dust pollution, reduce haze, protect the environment, and achieve green environmental protection.
To sum up, although domestic and foreign scholars have made some explorations into 3D printing materials and explored corresponding printing modes based on material properties, their research on printing equipment systems and process flow systems that adapt to multi-material materials is relatively weak. They are each in their own family, lacking communication and integration. For example, Enrico Dini’s use of fine sand and magnesium-based glue is based on the rapid prototyping principle of mixing and hardening cementitious materials and fine aggregates. Therefore, he has explored D-shape printing equipment that can print complex shapes. Behrokh Koshnevis has done a lot of research on the rapid prototyping printing technology of concrete formula materials and has explored a variety of roof shapes suitable for concrete printers. Other printing processes based on plastic or fiber materials are different, and the direct cooperation and integration processes of different processes derived from different materials remain to be studied. Secondly, research on architectural 3D printing by domestic and foreign scholars has entered a rapid development stage. There are many preliminary research results, but there is a lack of systematic and complete methods. Nowadays, there are very few actual construction projects that have been completed using 3D printing technology in the world.

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