3D concrete printing can be applied as a more affordable alternative to traditional construction. Learn about closing your 3DCP business case with cost-effective printing technology on this page!
Affordable 3D Concrete Printing
3D concrete printing projects can save significant amounts of cost as compared to conventional construction. The technology allows for faster construction with a smaller team, leading to tremendous savings in labor hours. The technique also allows for cost-effective shapes and less waste material, leading to low resource expenditures on two different fronts. Additionally, 3DCP incorporates several otherwise necessary steps in the construction process, making these steps and their associated costs abundant. Lastly, indirect costs are noteworthily lower than those of traditional construction, thanks to less overhead and risk through faster construction times and a lower depreciation rate.
Reduced Labor Hours
Additive manufacturing is all about automation. With the application of additive manufacturing, the complexity of the highly fragmented construction industry can be simplified through digitalization and an automated building process. This process leads to the ability of printing the walls of a home in mere hours or days. Taking into account all the related steps for preparation, the structure of a house can be printed within a week. On top of that, your construction team can be significantly smaller, as managing a 3D concrete print job only takes two or three operators. Comparing this to a traditional construction job of several weeks with an average team size of 10 workers, 3DCP can offer massive savings in terms of labor hours.
3D concrete printing is optimized for material usage, making it more sustainable and affordable. The technique makes use of parametric design which, with its large degree of architectural freedom, allows for unparalleled customization and optimization of parameters and variables for each unique design. In contrast to traditional construction methods, this innovative approach enables the creation of intricate and complex structures, pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable in terms of material usage. By leveraging parametric design, we not only unlock creative possibilities but also prioritize resource efficiency. Complex geometric proportions and shapes are strategically employed to minimize material usage, ensuring that each design is optimized to require the least possible amount of resources. Moreover, the meticulous planning of material placement within the design is a game-changer for resource wastage. The precise 3D printing process minimizes waste material significantly, in contrast to the common practice of cutting materials to specific sizes on-site in traditional construction. Through this controlled printing process, we aim to reduce waste material by up to 90%, making 3DCP not just a technological advancement but an economically sensible choice. Lastly, the material is mixed onsite, having implications for your transportation cost. By using locally sourced water, and at times even aggregates for the material itself, transportation costs are kept to a minimum, and with it CO2 emissions. By relying on less material usage in two different ways and lower transportation costs, 3DCP offers substantial opportunities to save on material cost.
Abundant Construction Processes
The automation of additive manufacturing, apart from reducing labor hours, has implications for the various steps that need to be taken in the construction process as well. Surely, after printing the walls of your building, some steps need to be taken before the house becomes a home. Windows and door frames need to be installed, roofing needs to be deployed, and some finishing touches need to be done. That being said, additive manufacturing incorporates various other steps from the construction process in the printing, making them, and more importantly their associated costs, obsolete. The three steps with most significant costs that become abundant when opting for 3DCP are formwork, plastering, and utilities preparation. Formwork, i.e. applying a mold to cast your concrete into during conventional concrete construction, is not needed with the technique. According to the model, the material is placed directly in the right places, and hardens out within 3 minutes, making the use of molds obsolete. The technique also eliminates the need for plastering. Typically, walls are plastered to make them smooth and to get rid of irregularities. With 3DCP, your walls naturally gain a layered texture, giving them a robust, industrial appearance. If you would rather go for a smooth, modern look, you can do your ‘plastering’ during the printing process by manually brushing your walls while the material is this somewhat liquid to give them your required, smooth texture. Next to plastering becoming redundant, you also don’t have to worry about utility installation preparation. By integrating the space for utilities in the model, the cavities for pipes and cables can be printed in the walls. This way, you don’t have to spend extra time and money preparing your utility installation. Eliminating the need for these and various other steps in the construction process, 3DCP saves costs on executing and/or subcontracting these elements of construction.
Indirect Cost Savings
Indirect costs in construction refer to expenses that are not directly tied to specific project components but are integral to the overall project, like overhead costs. One major advantage of additive manufacturing concerning these indirect costs is the technique’s significant reduction in construction time compared to traditional construction. Opting for additive manufacturing as your construction method can save you up to months on your total timeline, depending on the size of your project. This shortened timeline immediately affects your indirect costs. Since these costs are often ongoing throughout the construction process, quicker timelines can lead to significant reductions in indirect costs such as overhead, construction site costs, and even risk insurance. Along with direct cost savings in various ways, 3D printing can also help you keep your indirect costs to a minimum.
- Are 3D printed houses cheaper?Though the price of a 3D printed house can vary significantly based on various factors, the short answer to this question is: Yes, 3D printed houses are cheaper. Using 3D printing technology as your building method can save costs in different domains, like labor hours, material usage, indirect costs, and certain steps from the traditional construction process that are omitted. 3D printed houses are, however, generally only cheaper when they are designed as a 3D printed house from the beginning. This way, you can make sure you enjoy optimal material usage and timelines.
- Are 3D printed houses safe?Yes, 3D printed houses are safe. Generally, they are safer than traditionally constructed homes. 3D printed houses meet and exceed virtually all building codes, and offer protection against natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. They also offer improved fire-resistance. 3D printed houses offer the safety you and your family deserve.
- How strong are 3D printed houses?3D printed houses are exceptionally strong. Our 3D printed homes use our single-purpose CyBe Mortar, which is specifically developed for 3D concrete printing. This material is durable and offers outstanding structural strength. 3D printed houses printed with CyBe Mortar can even withstand earthquakes and hurricanes.