CHINA (CCTV) – China’s first buildings made with 3D printing technology were put into use in Shanghai recently.
Without using a single piece of brick and a tile, ten gray-color buildings were erected in Qingpu district of Shanghai earlier this month.
Looking from a distance, the buildings that were made with 3D printers are not different from the regular ones.
But on a closer look, their walls seem like layered cakes with hundreds of gray layers piled up together.
The wall bodies were printed out by 3D printers which were developed by the Suzhou Yingchuang Science and Trade Development Co., Ltd. in East China’s Jiangsu province.
“The building materials are all printed out by our 3d-printers layer by layer and we piled them up. All the layers are firmly connected with each other. They won’t separate, neither will they deform and collapse,” said Ma Yihe, president of Suzhou Yingchuang Science and Trade Development Co., Ltd.
A number of office workers have already moved into the buildings as their offices in Shanghai.
In one printing workshop of Suzhou Yingchuang Company, the 3D printers were seen busy printing out building materials layer by layer from a mixture of carefully-selected raw materials or “ink”, including sand, concrete, and glass fibers.
The layers are approximately three centimeter thick, but five times as hard as the common construction materials, according to Ma Yihe.
“We can print the whole walls in the factory, and then deliver them to the construction site. Our workers only need to pile the walls up by cranes like building blocks. The walls are hollow inside. The walls with beam columns are printed with bar steel inside. The workers can just pour the concrete directly into the walls. It’s very simple to do,” said Ma Yihe.
Ma said the 3D-printed buildings not only could save construction materials but also prevent jerry-built projects.
The construction materials are all being produced in a fully-digital way through a central computing system which leaves no corner to cut in the entire process, Ma added.
The groundbreaking technology still has a long way to go before mass production as the 3D-printed buildings need to be further tested in their fire resistance, durability as well as its internal structures, experts say.