3D Printing Predictions for Construction

3D printing offers new opportunities for construction. Today, new technologies, hardware, materials and applications are being developed that will change the way construction professionals operate and work on projects.

While much of the technology is still in its infancy, billion-dollar deals have already been signed, bringing these technologies into futuristic construction projects, according to analysts from SmarTech, which publishes reports on all the opportunities in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing sector.

Use Cases for 3D Printing in Construction

According to a new report, it suggests that the construction industry could represent as large an opportunity as the entire industrial and medical manufacturing industries combined.

Further, the organization indicates that as the technologies continue to progress and the industry expands, some of the largest construction groups are beginning to invest in know-how and advance the development of new materials and processes.

Some of the use cases for 3D printing in construction include: printing components at off-site locations, which enables prefabrication to surge, or printing portions of structures on a job.

Benefits include saving both time and money on projects. By moving some of these processes to off-site locations, it also enables greater safety and productivity on the job sites.

3D Printing At Work

One example of 3D printing at work was seen last year at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, as a 3D-printed excavator known as Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator) was unveiled to demonstrate how innovations can transform both manufacturing and the jobsite.

This technology continues to advance as well, as a number of technology companies are identifying ways it can help on projects. For instance, Contour Crafting can automatically construct towers using a robotic system that can climb the tower and a large-scale 3D printing system. This leads to a safer operation, lower cost of transportation and the possibility of building much taller towers.

Going forward, 3D printing will continue to move through the early-adopter phase, with large organizations and projects looking at how the technology can provide a competitive edge. As the technology matures and price points come down, it will begin to offer even more opportunities for the future.

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