3D printing technology has a wider meaning, and many companies are exploiting its vague definition to call their work 3D printing. The example of this Chinese company claiming to have built a complete villa within 3 hours in testament to this confusion and its capitalization. ZhuoDa, the pioneering Chinese building company, made this house in front of an audience that watched the full house erected in this record time. But, what we must understand is that 90 percent of the manufacturing of the building blocks of the house was already done beforehand. The workers at the site just put together these “Lego” parts as I like to call them and claim that it was 3D printed which is far from reality.
3D printing technology envisions layer-by-layer additive manufacturing, not the layer-by-layer additive assembly that was being demonstrated in this building. The only thing worth “3D printing” was the fast-drying adhesive that was used by the company. The company’s Vice-President has recently claimed that this sticking material was made from agricultural waste and doesn’t comprise of harmful substances like Radon, Ammonia, and Formaldehyde. The ZhuoDa company has more than 22 patents in 3D technology, this being one of them, and they are very secretive about this development and won’t release any details. Nevertheless, such an esteemed name in 3D technology should have refrained calling it 3D printed house because it is not.
However, the process, 3D or not has multiple benefits from conventional approaches. The speed is just awesome, and whole towns can be made within a matter of days with the help of this technique. It will help meet China’s growing needs of housing. The cost itself s reduced to 400-480 $ per square meter, and it takes almost ten days to get the building blocks built and joined, so it’s pretty fast.
Due to many parts of China lying on Earthquake fault lines, the structure has been engineered to withstand a nine magnitude Richter scale jolt. The steel framed house can be filled with heat insulating materials so that extreme temperature, particularly in the Northern part of China can be shielded from the interior of the house.
Homeowners will be able to select from a variety of colors, textures, and building material, so it is not just a monotonous plan. With this building technique, the flood, typhoon and earthquake survivors can also be provided houses in record time. The lives of these buildings are close to 150 years. This can be a game changer for the industry!