Business & Industry
Oct 1, 2016
The world simply won't stop surprising us and evolve, in terms of recycling and reusing materials, to make it more environmentally friendly, and less polluted. And, on this subject, China is way ahead. Meet the company that utilizes 3D printers that reuse building construction materials.
It is called Yingchuang, and has become the first Chinese company to construct buildings using only 3D printers which extrude and reuse construction material at high speed.
Using only four enormous 3D printers, Yingchuang is able to print the shell basis for ten room structures in just 24 hours, at an approximate cost of 4500 EUR per structure.
These enormous printers, supplied by WinSun, are 70 centimetres tall, one-meter wide, and four meters long. They are operated with the assistance of a plain simple computer, and use waste of other construction materials as their raw material, which is extruded and then deposited in layers to form the final reproduction of the object supplied by the software.
Starting from a CAD project as model, the computer operates a robotic arm which, along with a special hardener, gradually deposits the raw material in layers which overlap until forming the final structure with the requested hardness. So, the structures are built in parts at the factory, and the 24 hours that the process lasts already take into account the time required for the final material to totally dry. The parts are then transported to the construction site, where they are assembled.
The factory itself and the research centre of Yingchuang were built using this same construction process. The whole factory compound took no more than a month to be built. This technological company is not the first to use this technique, but it is the first to demonstrate its efficiency in the construction of big structures and buildings.
Researchers from the University of Southern California, United States of America, also demonstrated this building construction technique in less than a day. However, Yingchuang has developed this technique in such a way they are able to achieve the incredible speed of building a 185 m2 structure in less than 20 hours.
There are more details that distinguish Yingchuang. The technique they apply allows for the incorporation of all the due connections of the water supply pipeline, sewage, and electrical grid supply into the original drawings and finishing, and it allows the printing of electronic sensors and readers, in order to control all the air conditioning and power efficiency of the buildings. Furthermore, the printers are also able to reproduce thermal and sound isolation during the printing process.
Each recycled cement layer can measure up to 10 centimetres thick and 15 centimetres high, and the special hardeners are applied during the printing process, thus ensuring maximum hardness before the deposit of the next layer.
Special focus on the fact that this process, besides being less pollutant, ensures the printed parts are water-proof, show less permeability to air, and better retain the heat inside the building, thus guaranteeing a higher power efficiency.
The company didn't think their job was concluded, and went further in their creativity and objectives in the construction sector, and for this, they created many other complementary materials for indoor and outdoor decoration. One of the examples is the Crazy Magic Stone, a material that can easily replace the use of natural stones both as inside and outside decorative projects, and all the raw materials used in the process are recyclable and natural.
These stone plates take into account various options: they are four times harder, and resistant to external shock and impact; they allow the production of plates as thin as 6mm thick; the surface doesn't scratch even with metal pieces; they can be produced in several colours; they are non-pollutant, and recyclable; and production and assembly are much cheaper compared to other natural stones.
No.1 Jingu Road (Crossroad of Dongfang Dadao and Jingu
Road), Suzhou Indurstry Park, Suzhou, Jiaingsu