When people think of Chinese architecture the pagoda is most likely the first thing they see. A design with religious significance, it is widely seen in movies and tv and has become a cliché in its own right. These buildings followed strict guidelines on their construction and their style remained largely unchanged for thousands of years being greatly influenced by the principles of Fengshui. In the past few decades China has made a radical departure from this highly ritualized approach to architecture as they employ people from all over the world to design city skylines that surprise and captivate the eyes. Having pushed the limits of design China has moved on to changing traditional methods of construction.
Winsun Decoration Design Engineering Co. has built a revolutionary 3D printer that can produce affordable housing at lower construction costs. Last year they demonstrated its capabilities by constructing 10 single story houses in less than 24 hours. At a construction cost of only $5,000 these houses present a solution for countries with serious housing issues. The Egyptian government has ordered 20,000 units giving low-income families an affordable
Traditional construction sites have become a liability creating large amounts of waste and producing carbon emissions. They are a general nuisance being noisy, dusty, dangerous and wasteful. Winsun’s printer addresses this issue by using recycled construction materials mixed with glass fiber and a concrete base to create their houses which are printed off site and assembled on site. It is a much safer and more efficient means of building and an elegant solution for companies trying to reduce pollution and eliminate inefficiencies.
Adaptability and versatility are key components of Winsun’s printer. It operates on software that is easily changed meaning it can use local materials to create the “ink” used for printing. It also allows for architects to change designs to comply with local construction regulations or simply for aesthetic value preventing repetitive “cookie-cutter” houses and neighborhoods. Architects can also experiment and push their creativity as Winsun has already created luxury houses that are complete with interior and exterior decorations. A Taiwanese real estate company has ordered 10 sets of a mansion recently demonstrated in Suzhou, China. Aside from the obvious benefit of middle class families being able to afford higher end housing these constructs are capturing the attention of the world promoting the possibilities of 3D printing and inspiring architects to build better, faster, cheaper and safer.
3D printing was a groundbreaking technology that is still being explored and experimented with. Its uses and applications are only limited by the ingenuity and creativity of the designers, architects, engineers and even artists. Winsun and many other companies in China are giving these people the opportunity to make an impact on the architectural world and radically change traditional notions of construction.