It was just a few short years ago when being able to own a 3D printer on a commercial basis was almost impossible. But with prices dropping as technology improves, it is now more accessible for both small and large businesses.
At Laurus Projects we are keenly interested in keeping an eye on the future and understanding how our industry may change, how we can best adapt to the change and even take advantage of it.
There are plenty of ways that a 3D printer can assist in the construction field and many businesses are starting to implement the technology and seeing benefits to their overall profit margins.
As the demand for eco-friendly homes build, the development of eco-friendly properties will start to happen more quickly. While it may not be possible right now, 3D printing does offer future benefits of being able to essentially print building materials. It is a big advancement and companies are starting to work on developing it further. In 2019, Business Insider Australia reported that architectural start-up Branch Technology, “developed a prototype of a 92 square metre 3D-printed home”. The cost was of course quite high, at around $410,000, due to developing technology, but costs are certain to come down as the technology is developed further.
They also reported that in early 2019, “New Story, a housing non-profit based in San Francisco and ICON, a construction-technology company that designs 3D printers, unveiled what they said was “the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America.” It was a 32 square metre building that cost under $14,000 and took 48 hours to build.
They also noted that “at the time, the printer was running at only 25% speed so there is certainly some room for improvement, with the companies calculating they could build a 55-75 square metre home in 24 hours for $5,500 USD or less. “
Imagine the possibilities once the technology is available on a wider scale.
Increased Project Planning Efficiency
Everyone in the construction industry knows that one of the most important parts of every project is the design; and one of the biggest delays is of course finding problem areas once construction has started. 3D printing allows for relatively inexpensive models to be created, providing not only a visual of the overall project, but a chance to evaluate for problem areas that may cause delays.
Meeting Client Expectations
This point is of course one of the biggest benefits to introducing 3D printing to your construction business. There are plenty of times when a customer hasn’t clearly expressed their needs or can’t quite explain what they want. 3D printing allows for the client’s idea to become something more than just a drawing on paper.
3D printing allows you to get on the same page as your customer, bringing their ideas to life, albeit in miniature form, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goal.
3D printing technology is streaming ahead, and it won’t be long before construction companies across the country are adding the technology to their business models. With the ability to only meet clients needs in a more efficient manner, produce more eco-friendly homes, and potentially one day produce homes much quicker, the traditional construction industry is certainly set for a shake up in the years to come.