Can a construction crew finish building a house in a week?
What about in 24 hours?
Winsun (also known as Yingchuang Building Technique) is a Chinese construction company that can 3D print a house in 24 hours. The company is at the forefront of 3D printing architecture. Founded in 2003, Winsun currently holds 151 national patents pertaining to their construction materials.
The company has also been recognized as an essential contributor to the ‘one belt one road' policy. The Chinese Government's infrastructural policy aims to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe. It's inspiring sustainability in construction, energy, and transportation.
The 3D printing technique employed by Winsun could go global, considering the Belt and Road Initiative's influence is expected to reach up to 70 countries.
In Jiangsu Province, the company has been printing structures that embody Chinese history and culture, while providing a look into the future of creating Chinese homes, business offices and more.
The process is relatively new. It utilizes a 3D printing cement ink that combines cement, sand, and fiber together with an additive resin that allows layer by layer printing. What the company essentially created was ‘Special Glass Fiber Reinforced Cement.'
Senior Engineer at the Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences, Ya Beihong, told CGTN that the 3D printed material has better anti-crack properties than traditional cement. This is due to the added fibers that are pushed through the printing nozzle.
As a result, the houses should be durable, and assuage the many critics who have wondered how sturdy they would be.
Winsun first made news headlines in 2013 when they claimed to have printed 10 houses in 24 hours. Then, in 2015 they printed a six-story apartment building, which only cost US $160,000 to produce.
Ma Yihe, the CEO of Winsun said, "industrial waste from demolished buildings is damaging our environment, but with 3D-printing, we are able to recycle construction waste and turn it into new building materials."
Yihe says that developer costs are cut by 50 percent when buildings are 3D printed. Moreover, with robots taking care of every part of the house's fabrication, a construction crew is not technically necessary — and will be even less essential as the technology develops.
The company says they will be printing bus stations, public toilets, and affordable houses in China soon.
Winsun was the construction company behind the first 3D printed office that was printed in Dubai. The UAE is looking to rely on 3D printing buildings as a part of their 2030 mandate to have most of its construction works done via 3D printing.
The 3D printing building technique could also have positive spin-offs for the globe. If housing is a fundamental right for all humans, the printing method could create housing at a much more affordable rate for those in the world needing shelter. Every level of the construction process is digitized and ultimately futuristic.
About Winsun-Yingchuang Building Technique （Shanghai）Co.Ltd. (WinSun), www.winsun3d.com/En/About/.
Dubai Future Foundation. “THE OFFICE OF THE FUTURE.” 3D PRINTED OFFICE - DUBAI FUTURE FOUNDATION, www.officeofthefuture.ae/.
“Living in the Future: 3D Printing Shaping the Construction Sites of Tomorrow.” YouTube, 2 Nov. 2018, youtu.be/XEVkosH_-gQ.