How 3d printing is transforming the construction industry
A Chinese construction company has found a way to make houses pop up at the press of a button - 3D printed homes that could be assembled in under 3 hours. The two-storey show villa was built from pre-constructed components printed in a factory and later lifted into place using a crane, all under 3 hours, signalling a change for the global construction sector.
The new technology used by the Zhuoda Group, based in Xi'an, central China, is being kept carefully under wraps. While most construction companies using 3D printing technology use a cement base, the group is using an unnamed material for its villas. The printed homes cost just 3,000 Yuan (£300) per square metre to build. Compared to an average price of 36,000 Yuan (£3,600) per square metre retail price of apartments in China today, the profit margins are impressive.
They have already applied for more than 20 patents for their unique homes but the villas are not yet available on a mass scale. However, consumers are soon expected to be able to buy made-to-order villas with the rise of 3D printing technology among construction companies.
Another company based in Shanghai built the world's tallest 3D printed building in January. The villa built by Winsun is five storeys high and cost 1 million Yuan (£100,000) to construct. The construction firm used four huge 3D printers, which are 21 feet tall and as wide as a basketball court.
The houses are built wall by wall from an 'ink' made up of a mixture of cement and environmentally friendly construction waste and claims to make walls that are even stronger than concrete. The company is now working in Dubai to build the world's first fully 3D-printed office.
BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership
BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.
BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth.
The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.
Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.
“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”
Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”
Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.
Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:
- Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
- Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
- Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
- Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%
For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.
“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”
In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".