Chinese company 3D prints 10 buildings
in a day using construction waste


News: Chinese materials firm Yingchuang New Materials has reportedly produced 10 3D-printed buildings in 24 hours, using a custom-built machine that outputs layers of construction waste mixed with cement (+ slideshow).

According to a report from Chinese television company CNC World, the Suzhou-based company spent 20 million yuan (£2 million) and 12 years developing its specialised additive manufacturing device, which can be used to 3D print self-supporting architectural structures.

The company demonstrated the technology earlier this month by producing 10 stand-alone houses in the space of a day, which will be used as offices at an industrial park in Shanghai.

Chinese company 3D prints 10 buildings in a day using construction waste

Each building has 3D-printed walls and structure. The only sections not produced by the printer were the roofs – the company says this won't be possible until the technology becomes more advanced.

The process took place at Yingchuang New Materials's factory, where a 3D-printing assembly line makes use of up to four printers at at a time. This building also features 3D-printed walls.

Chinese company 3D prints 10 buildings in a day using construction waste

Company president Ma Yihe hopes that one day 3D printers will be used to build skyscrapers, reusing materials from unwanted buildings.

"With 3D printing in the future we can build good buildings with reliable materials and without waste," he told CNC World. "Waste from the demolished buildings or industrial waste can be used to build structures."

Chinese company 3D prints 10 buildings in a day using construction waste

Photographs are courtesy of Yingchuang New Materials.

  • Smack

    So this means all those other groups can stop talking about “the first 3D-printed house” by now right? Because it sure looks like they got beaten.

  • Dave Carcamano

    Who wouldn’t want to live in a house made of industrial waste!

    • Saywhat

      You mean like plasterboard? Which is made from gypsum that is a waste product of the smoke cleaning process in power plants.

      • Dave Carcamano

        Right, on the other hand it’s China so everything must be safe and healthy.

    • john

      Eco-friendly and modest people for example.

    • jay

      It’s no problem for me what is inside the walls, as long as it keeps heat like other materials.

  • Douglas Montgomery

    Cue the UK’s Conservative housing minister striking a deal with his property developer cronies and other vested interests, to ensure this technological development is appropriately utilised to maximise profit margins.

    So, prepare yourselves to be offered these quickly constructed and cost effective homes at £450,000 for a one bedroom version, especially in London where affordable housing is needed most. Never mind solving the housing crisis, our first consideration must be to protect the delicate balance of “the free market”.

  • H-J

    OK, we have a winner. Can we go back to architecture now?

  • Daniel

    Yeah right… building straight walls with a 3D printer.

  • Roberta Mutti

    I’d be curious to know if it has been tested in the long term. I mean, will the material smell, for example, after 10 years? Is the building’s structure earthquake proof? I guess so, but it would be interesting to deepen some aspects.

    • We would love to know what is the cost to build a square meter of wall? One way to ascertain whether the technology will impact the future of home building – material + printer + operator cost + running cost?

  • Really?

    What about Uranium? I heard it has quite a good heat capacity.

  • James

    Does this count as a 3D-printed building? It seems that parts of the building were modelled in 3D and then built up together ie these are 3D-printed wall sections.

    I would count a 3D printed building as one piece that doesn’t require a team of construction workers to still put it together.

    I want to see a massive, mobile 3D printer that you just set up and it will print a house out in location in one go with no assembly required.

  • Dan

    Shouldn’t we consider, at the very least, that this is a potential win for disaster relief projects?

  • Stephan

    I always thought architecture is about space. I know construction is an important part of it, but by reducing architecture on the way it is constructed, I’m quite sure we are missing something.

  • Silver T. Rader

    This is great! How many of the Earth’s people could improve the standard of living, health, security and outlook with this now? As it matures, it will just get better. In 5 years, a 3D printer in the home will be as common as the Microwave.

    Remember how many people were opposed to Microwaves? All kinds of crazy excuses. Guess there are still some chopping firewood rather than trying a microwave oven.

  • One way to ascertain whether the technology will impact the future of home building: what is the cost per square meter of wall? Material + printer + operator cost + running cost?

  • Vukile Adonsi

    Please i am doing a literature review of waste houses, can someone tell me exactly what the waste materials were in that Chinese 3D printed waste house.