7 facts regarding 3D Printing in construction
The construction industry has welcomed the use of innovative technologies to ensure the build of impressive, sustainable structures, which are built with reduced waiting time, provide more accurate results and ensure increased levels of safety.
3D Printing has become a popular phenomenon within construction, with various projects being built in this way, alongside the use of BIM and drone technology. The façade of the Europa-Haus in the Amsterdam Marine Quarter has recently been partially constructed through the use of 3D printing, at which DUS Architects were behind its construction, in addition to an 3D Printed Canal House, which is also being built within the region.
Here are our 7 facts regarding 3D Printing:
1. 3D Printing has been developed since the 1950s, but gained momentum through research at Loughborough University in the millennium. The process involves the layering of materials through the use of digital systems, such as a computer aided design (CAD) in order to create a sufficient model, which will then enable the prototype to be created.
2. The use of 3D Printing will work in line with BIM, to effectively support designers and architects in the construction of new builds.
3. The use of 3D Printing could reduce time and labour costs and ensure there is less waste within key projects by up to 60 percent. However, if materials such as steel are incorporated into key designs, a mould would be more beneficial to utilise to counteract scope creep.
4. 3D Printing will ensure the health and safety of workers, who might otherwise have to work in otherwise hazardous environments
5. The process would be sufficient in supporting areas which have been affected by human disasters, but also, NASA has incorporated the use of 3D printing buildings on the moon
6. Sustainable materials are utilised within the new builds, such as molten bio-degradable plastic, seen in the 3D Printed Canal House, alongside eco-concrete. The reduced transportation costs will also be an added benefit, reducing levels of CO2 emissions
7. The use of 3D Printing will provide increased benefits for overpopulated areas, who are in increased need of new homes to cater for densely populated areas
Read the November 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
How could drones be used in the construction industry?
The use of drones and drone technology including artificial intelligence in several industries has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether it’s for security purposes or even a bit of fun, drones are a convenient way of monitoring situations from above. So, could this be beneficial to the construction industry? In short, yes, and here are some of the ways the industry can use them.
Whenever a construction project is complete, it’s always important to take images of it looking its best so that the project itself or even a business can be promoted. With drones, the ability to record aerial footage and take photos from the sky adds a new dimension to displaying a construction project. A drone, provided it specced correctly, can capture video and photos in 4K HD from unique angles and provide an interesting perspective on a building project. A drone could be particularly useful to estate agents who are looking to show properties that they are trying to sell.
Occasionally surveyors need to laser scan parts of a building for planning and design reasons. This can be particularly challenging when trying to scan higher parts of a building due to not having a laser scanning tool that can reach. However, laser scanning capabilities in drones mean that they are able to capture things like the exact detail of topography and buildings while also having the ability to point cloud scan, which was previously difficult due to the restricted access of high points on buildings.
In construction, there are often times when a high level of risk is involved. This usually means have to complete certain tasks virtually. Drones can help workers do this through the use of their First Person View (FPV) technology. With this, a drone can stream HD footage to the project team and provide them with a live view of what it is seeing. This can be enhanced further with Virtual Reality (VR) glasses.
Activities on-site don’t always go as planned and if it’s a large site, it can especially difficult for managers and other interested personnel to determine the location of their workers, tools, and vehicles. Thanks to a drone’s ability to be operated remotely, they can provide managers with a birds-eye view of the whole site, as it flies around to each individual area. That way, they can gain a better understanding and awareness of exactly where everything is.
Drones, therefore, have many uses for the construction industry from security to locating specific tools or vehicles, to laser-scanning features, all in 4K HD video. Maybe drones will become the future of not just the construction industry but many others, too.