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Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the you-haven't-seen-a-real-mcmansion-yet dept.

China 118

Lucas123 writes: A company in China has used additive manufacturing to print 10 single-room buildings out of recycled construction materials in under a day as offices for a Shanghai industrial park. The cost: about $5,000 each. The company, Suzhou-based Yingchuang New Materials, used four massive 3D printers supplied by the WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. Each printer is 20 feet tall, 33 feet wide and 132 feet long. Like their desktop counterparts, the construction-grade 3D printers use fused deposition modeling (FDM), where instead of thermoplastics layer after layer of cement is deposited atop one another. The cement contains hardeners that make each layer firm enough for the next. Yingchuang's technique builds structures off site in a factory one wall at a time. The structures are then assembled onsite. The technique is unlike U.S.-based Contour Crafting, a company whose 3D printing technology to form the entire outer structure of buildings at once, The Yingchuang factory and research center, a 33,000 square foot building, was also constructed using the 3D printing manufacturing technique. It only took one month to construct.

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I for one... (-1, Offtopic)

Traze (1167415) | about 6 months ago | (#47372021)

Await the long foretold coming of out robot servants! Who of course then become our overlords, but can't have everything.

Re:I for one... (5, Funny)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 6 months ago | (#47372059)

They can't be any worse than the corrupt politicians we have in power now.

little pig, little pig, LET ME IN! (4, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about 6 months ago | (#47372155)

that one caught on fire, burned down, fell over then sank into the swamp

Re:little pig, little pig, LET ME IN! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372439)

"that one caught on fire, burned down, fell over then sank into the swamp"

Arrivederci, porco numero due.

Plumbing & electrical ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372049)

I guess it's enough to print a large hut.

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 months ago | (#47372071)

Real Log homes seldom have wiring in the walls either. While Vertical runs are possible horizontal ones are not.

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (4, Informative)

richy freeway (623503) | about 6 months ago | (#47372291)

From the article : "The machines can also automatically embed all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning, as well as place electronic sensors to monitor the building's temperature and health over time."

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47372449)

I still don't get how it's supposed to be more efficient than setting up prefabricated moulds, hanging the conduits and placing the rebar, then pouring concrete from trucks... Yes, the moulds have to be taken off after waiting for the walls to cure enough to support themselves, but typically mass-construction of even identical buildings will see staggered stages including rough ground prep, survey for foundation positioning and marking that, installing the in-ground utilities/services/piping, pouring the foundation and slab, finishing off the stub-ups through the slab, building the load-bearing walls, building the roof, roughing-in the interior wall studs, putting in electrical/plumbing/etc, then finishing the interior walls and exterior of the building.

That process can be staggered across several buildings so that the time to build ten buildings in-tandem isn't a lot worse than if two buildings were built, each start-to-finish before the next. I don't see how using a 3d printer really helps. 3d printers are great for prototyping and small-batch work, but it's almost always more cost effective to build special-purpose to make things in volume if the volume is enough to pay for the machines. 3d printing would work great at home or in a boutique shop, but I don't see it being a major factory process for finished goods.

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#47372617)

This technology eventually can do the whole thing starting with a hole in the ground, all in one go. About the only problem that I see is with the lack of strength of the concrete. They'll do it wrong, it will buckle while it's being printed, and the outcome will be in terms of the number of body bags. I sincerely hope that their printing software keeps a running estimate of the weight of concrete printed, and that their structural people have vetted it.

Re: Plumbing & electrical ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373333)

I think you're missing the bigger problem which is, we're going to need to delay implementation while we wait for enviromental impact studies.

Re: Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373489)

I know nobody reads the article, and the summary probably had too many confusing big words for you.

But if you even read the first word of the fucking title, you would have realised this is in China.

Re: Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373633)

I know nobody reads the article, and the summary probably had too many confusing big words for you.

It's not so much the intimidating vocabulary as it is the rush of free-wheeling it, knowing you could crash and burn.

But if you even read the first word of the fucking title, you would have realised this is in China.

I'm picturing, in the often desolate arena that is my own head, a sandal-wearing rice farmer kicking a government inspector off of The Great Wall. This is China!

cool inner-wall structure? Re:Plumbing & elect (5, Interesting)

Fubari (196373) | about 6 months ago | (#47372809)

Well... the tfa had a video (t=20sec) [youtube.com] showing a latice-work inside the wall's exterior surfaces. I suspect that lattice would:
1) offer strength-to-weight savings (vs. solid slab cement walls)
2) use less material for a given surface area (yeah, this follows #1),
and 3) allow some extra insulation if warranted by the destination environment.

Also it would probably allow different configurations depending on how tall one wanted to stack (thicker lower-flow pieces; thinner upper-floor pieces). And the other point about embedding services cabling & plumbing stands; I could see them using standard interconnects to splice things together as they get assembled. *shrug* Maybe all that is common place today with prefab walls; don't know ianapfba (pre-fab building architect).

My first thought was "Big deal, another kind of prefab building" but the design + deposit is pretty interesting. This gets into some of the same things for machining I've read about where casting and/or subtractive (cnc milling) runs into limitations; additive manufacturing can create nested structure that were just not possible before. *shrug* It is cool to see people doing neat things with cement++.

And maybe - at some point - it would be cost effective for larger & taller structures to print segments on-site (and possibly at elevation for multi-story units). I don't know that they need to print in-situ; having useful-sized freshly printed & cured components (think just-in-time lego-blocks for the construction crew) could still be useful.

(One downside: I wonder about the "quick-set" additives and how nice (or not-so-nice) it would be to breath anything that off-gassed after it was all put together.)

Re:cool inner-wall structure? Re:Plumbing & el (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47374115)

There's a construction technique called "tilt-up" where one pours the concrete for a wall on the ground or on a mould, flat on the ground, then after it's cured, rotate it up 90 degrees. Unfortunately it became common in the sixties to do this with really *ahem* avant-garde textures, and the whole method fell out of fashion. It would be just as possible to design a mould to be assembled with cheap or scrap wood to get the same sort of honeycomb cell structure. That sort of thing is already used when pouring multiple floors in some concrete buildings.

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373265)

Depends on the resources available.

If you have a huge 3D printer standing around, and you don't need any prototyping/modelling done right now, but what you do need is ten identical boxes, then - compared with hiring and trucking in a whole new set of equipment - it's probably very cost-effective to use what you've got.

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47374121)

I expect that simply moving and positioning a printer large enough to make a building would negate any cost savings over going and buying some cheap lumber, cutting it to shape it into moulds, and paying the concrete trucks to bring the materials.

Re:Plumbing & electrical ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47374205)

Perhaps the technology could be used to print very difficult concrete structures for high end buildings, if some kind of printable support structure to replace rebar is developed.

Is it safe? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372055)

Do we know how safe it is to work or live in a building made of these chemicals?

I remember when portables started being added to schools, it was determined all the various chemicals in them were making kids and teachers sick.

They need to determine the potential effects on health first.

Re:Is it safe? (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#47372203)

The possibility of it collapsing is probably more of a concern than "chemicals." (FYI water is a chemical, and concrete generally contains water, so I guess they're screwed).

Re:Is it safe? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372235)

Interpolating from the rate that their other quickly constructed buildings fall down, these probably started to crumble shortly after this headline published.

Re:Is it safe? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373535)

Extrapolate.

We are going to build quality housing with this technology someday.

I hope the lab-grown replacement organs manufactured from my own stem cells are perfected by the time I need them... I would love to see this future.

Re:Is it safe? (2)

mikael (484) | about 6 months ago | (#47374001)

Back in the 1960's, we used to build high-rise buildings using pre-fabricated blocks. Bits of geometry like stairwells, floors, blank walls and window frames. The only problem was that these structures were completely air-tight with no ventilation or air conditioning. Combine that with people cooking, drying off laundry in their living room and airing closets, there wasn't anywhere for the moisture to go. So it just condensed into the walls creating mold and other health problems.

Re:Is it safe? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#47372247)

Isn't concrete a pretty durable material [romanconcrete.com] ?

Re: Is it safe? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372327)

Only for compression. Concrete is pretty weak when it comes to tensile strength.

Does this 3D printer also print rebars?

Re: Is it safe? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#47372445)

Well, single-story or two-story buildings shouldn't have problems with that. Or is brick construction somehow more immune to this problem without the use of structural steel?

Re: Is it safe? (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#47372625)

You're forgetting buckling, and weak, fresh cement is famous for buckling. Heck, poorly supported brick walls will buckle and collapse during construction because the mortar isn't strong enough -- all the while the same will will stand just fine once the mortar has cured.

Re: Is it safe? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#47372643)

Well, I'm not a civil engineer. ;) Would this be a problem if the building was "grown" sufficiently slowly? The way I see it, if we're talking about reducing costs (including human labor) and increasing flexibility, perhaps that wouldn't be a problem. Simply let the (now smaller and cheaper, because slower) machine do the job and continue on other buildings in the same time frame.

Re: Is it safe? (4, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#47372873)

Well, if they can solve the problem of rebar, then buckling won't be an issue anymore, since rebar has proper strength from the get-go. I don't really see a slower machine being much better than a fast one. The overall size of the machine depends on what you fabricate, not how fast you go about it (within reasonable limits of concrete pouring).

If I were to make a product out of it, I'd have a 5 axis machine with switchable heads. One head with an extra axis or two that can put out, restrain, cut and spot-weld rebar. Another head that can print concrete. With a 5 axis machine you can trivially print concrete on the surface of rebar going in any orientation. Heck, if they use a mix with fast initial cure, they can do skin/infill just like plastic 3D printers do, except that the infill uses a less viscous mix that self-levels. This could dramatically speed it up, and you wouldn't need to print around every piece of rebar but only some trickier ones.

This could be very much a breakthrough technology, but it would need a bit of capital investment as those machines wouldn't be cheap. For very large constructions, instead of X-Y-Z linear actuators you would need a delta-style arm [youtu.be] . Even a big one could be assembled on site and print an entire highway overpass in a week or two, starting with nothing but a hole in the ground.

Re: Is it safe? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#47373065)

Actually, what I had in mind was smaller buildings that don't need rebar, and tackling the problem of concrete hardening. A rebar robot would be awesome but probably unnecessarily expensive in constructions that don't need it, even if it would be useful for those that do.

Re: Is it safe? (2)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#47373385)

Once you have a positioning system (a manipulator) good enough for 3D printing concrete, then adding rebar functionality is peanuts in comparison. Heck, not doing so would be silly, since you should try to leverage the heck out of the expensive manipulator. I personally don't see much housing uses for non-reinforced concrete. As the ground settles, it will crack. Rebar is a relatively cheap fix for that.

Re: Is it safe? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373559)

Or.

You could allow rebar to be installed in the traditional way as a skeleton before the pour.

Bonus round: A few human jobs for those dinosaurs who can't sit around and do nothing.

Re: Is it safe? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#47373601)

Actually, what I had in mind was smaller buildings that don't need rebar,

I wouldn't be comfortable even making a concrete driveway without reinforcing.

I'd be willing to bet with these things there's bits of rebar standing up and linking the different layers.

and tackling the problem of concrete hardening

Pretty well understood chemically for the last century with a lot of variations for different conditions.

This thing sounds like a more flexible version of the sort of thing used to make concrete beams offsite before trucking in to construction sites and it's just got the "3D printer" label because that's what's cool this year (although I've thought 3D printers were cool since the 1990s :) ).

Re: Is it safe? (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 6 months ago | (#47373721)

There is a simpler option, which is to replace the rebar with another tensile option, such as fibreglass or plastic.

Rather than a welder, it would be much simpler to have a spool of fibreglass/plastic ribbon which is then laid down at intervals in the 3D print.

Even simpler still is to add chopped fibres to the concrete mix, which make the concrete more durable and stops the propagation of cracks. Considering how long we've managed with brick walls that have practically zero tensile strength , a fibre reinforced concrete could be more than sufficient. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Is it safe? (1)

confused one (671304) | about 6 months ago | (#47373047)

Based on the number of concrete buildings that collapse in China due to earthquakes, I suspect it's not as durable as you think.

Re:Is it safe? (2)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 6 months ago | (#47372243)

You know this is in China, right? They don't worry too much about stuff like that.

Re:Is it safe? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 6 months ago | (#47372923)

its china, they dont give a shit

Re:Is it safe? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373541)

Slashdot has gone to a sad place. You are honestly asking if it's safe to work and live in a building made of cement? Is that a real question that is actually being posted on a website who's tagline is supposed to be "news for nerds, stuff that matters"?
https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]
Look at all those poor poor people living in cement buildings. I hope they don't get the cancer. But I kind of hope you DO.

It's the singularity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372079)

Jonny Depp is behind all this, I tells yaz

Bigger than a tiny house (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 6 months ago | (#47372091)

Those structures are bigger and sturdier than a tiny house [tinyhouseliving.com] with the added advantage of being made from recycled building materials.

The real question is structural strength and integrity and what agents are they using to make the mix dry fast. The Chinese could be using some nasty chemicals that wouldn't fly in building materials over here (Chinese drywall anyone?).

Still, if the units end up being even roughly equivalent to poured concrete, I could see living in a printed house, no problem.

Re:Bigger than a tiny house (4, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#47372113)

In the photos, it looks like they're hanging sheets of pre-printed concrete.

I'm not sure this is anything novel, other than how they "printed" the Lego pieces and then drove them to the site.

Re:Bigger than a tiny house (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372217)

Indeed.

Somewhat related: they put up a building next to where I work by fabricating the walls on the ground, leaving them sit for what I would guess would be a month, then hoisting them into position over the course of mere days. It was actually a pretty cool thing to see. They used these weird metal hangers with a string attached where they could basically pull the hanger out once the piece was in place.

Re:Bigger than a tiny house (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372161)

Poured concrete house with no rebar? Sounds like a bad idea when an earthquake hits. I don't see anything in this process that would provide the necessary flexing strength.

Re:Bigger than a tiny house (2)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#47372631)

No different from a brick building, really. You can use brick in some places, in some other places you can't. Hopefully here they could use brick :)

How do you know there is no rebar? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#47373611)

Citation please.

Re:How do you know there is no rebar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373715)

Citation for what? Are you an idiot? Why do you think they put rebar in there in the first place? For fun?

Re:How do you know there is no rebar? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#47374071)

Obviously a citation for your assertion that no rebar is being used - as given in by the question I've put in as the subject. To me it appears to be a groundless and somewhat ridiculous guess that defies common sense so I suggest you do something to show otherwise.

Re:Bigger than a tiny house (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373597)

There are multiple indoor air quality issues with occupying any new home.

Formaldehyde and a host of known carcinogens leach from things like new carpet and OSB wallboard.

Remember the FEMA trailers?

That's not FDM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372107)

No fusing of molten material, just good, clean extrusion of concrete

Not sure (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47372127)

As the future president of the U.S.A. would say, I'm not sure.

I would trust Contour Crafting constructions since they're built in a single run. But not this method of printing half walls in a factory which are then assembled on-site, I'm not sure what they're gaining by doing it this way. Looks more like a 3D printed puzzle to me.

Re:Not sure (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 6 months ago | (#47372293)

But not this method of printing half walls in a factory which are then assembled on-site, I'm not sure what they're gaining by doing it this way.

I assume you missed the part about building 10 single-room buildings in a day for $5,000 each.

Re:Not sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372357)

But not this method of printing half walls in a factory which are then assembled on-site, I'm not sure what they're gaining by doing it this way.

I assume you missed the part about building 10 single-room buildings in a day for $5,000 each.

China doesn't have a lack of housing. It does have a lack of people that want to make cheap housing though. I guess this does fit a purpose, even if it is just an upscale box.

Re:Not sure (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | about 6 months ago | (#47372499)

I assume you missed the part about building 10 single-room buildings in a day for $5,000 each.

Well, the price is right, but people have been building modularly for a long time. Single room buildings don't really seem that challenging, especially since it is just a concrete box.

The Hilton Palacio Hotel [modular.org] in San Antonio was built in just 202 days, and that was 500 rooms, fully furnished, decorated and kitted (down to the bottle openers and coffee makers). And this was back in 1968.

Re:Not sure (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 6 months ago | (#47372347)

Its certainly possible that they would get similar or better results just creating those sections with forms. Same amount of material would be used, with the added benefit of tighter dimensional control.

Also, additive forming makes it difficult to include reinforcement bars, particularly vertical ones.

Re:Not sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372535)

In other news, IKEA now sells homes you assemble yourself.

Re:Not sure (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 months ago | (#47373015)

Well you see the whole show was technically an illusion. The extrusion process for the material is really neither here nor there. The computer control of a concrete pump and the outlet of a house. The real important information that everyone is ignoring is the concrete mix. What is in it, how are they achieve higher extrudability with low slump http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org] , what is the compressive and tensile strength of the concrete, how is it being reinforced, what are it's insulative properties, how is moisture movement being controlled, what happens when ice forms and how does it handle cracking. Exactly how toxic is the mix and how safe is it to use. What happens when you cut and drill into it.

Everyone loves to focus on 3D printing whilst ignoring the material the is used to do the printing and how it actually performs.

What does this solve? (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 6 months ago | (#47372133)

Seems they could have simply created some "molds" with a some 2x4s and a couple plywood sheets and just dumped the cement formula in to make the individual walls instead of this elaborate process. How has the process of making a cement slab been improved by using an expensive industrial grade 3D printer? Smells like "we did it because we could" rather than "doing it because you should".

Re:What does this solve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372213)

I agree with your sentiment and I am immediatly skeptical as well. However if you watch the video on the second page of the article it shows that they are able to craft walls that are much wider and are in fact hollow with embedded support structures. This makes me think this technology does have a banefit which might be overall cost since a hollow wall should be cheaper to construct than a solid one made of the same material.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373659)

Sit down.

In all likelihood, all the walls in the room you were formerly standing in are hollow.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 6 months ago | (#47372269)

well, because 3d printing draws the page clicks.

As you noticed, they could have achieved the same 'feat' by simply taking a concrete truck, some hoses, and filling in molds. But then no one would care.

Re:What does this solve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373289)

Exactly. 3D printing is the only subject where geeks suck their own dick while the page downloads. Jesus Christ the hype....

Re:What does this solve? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373663)

If I could suck my own dick, I would be done learning and thereby forced to forfeit my geek card,

Re:What does this solve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373583)

While you were busy 'clicking on pages' some of the smarter people were reading the article and watching the video.
These people now know why you are wrong.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 6 months ago | (#47372305)

Seems they could have simply created some "molds" with a some 2x4s and a couple plywood sheets and just dumped the cement formula in to make the individual walls instead of this elaborate process.

How many laborers would they need to make all of those molds to allow them to build 10 buildings in 24 hours? Would your method be any cheaper than $5,000 per building?

Re:What does this solve? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#47372343)

Once you have the forms, you can bang the buildings out all day. 3d printing is interesting not for churning out identical houses, which yes we can do very cheaply already, but for making custom ones on-site. So it is quite puzzling what they hoped to prove by doing so. Clearly the printer and process work for building little square shacks.

Of course, China has whole cities standing empty, so I'm pretty sure they don't need to come up with new fast ways to build more...

Re:What does this solve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372329)

Probably just the beginning... See the drawing; they're possibly aiming for a giant printer that will print buildings directly in a construction site. Curious to see how they would do windows and doors, though.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 6 months ago | (#47372387)

That was my thought upon seeing them assembling the rectangular sections on site.

What does seem interesting is the idea at the end of the article of constructing a printer on site and having it print out more interesting shaped houses. In that case, there would be tremendous gains since this machine is very flexible in the patterns it can print. A work crew could spend a few days setting it up, 24h to print the house, then a few days polishing and cleaning up the printer. The roof might take a bit more time, but it could still be useful.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47372463)

The best walls (for the cost) are thin shells on the outside and inside, with a gap in the middle filled with cheap insulation, rather than solid walls. Supports needed between them, depending on materials. The new process lets you get that pretty quickly and uniformly. The "next best" I've seen was pre-fab styrofoam block system you assemble like Legos on site and pour the concrete into.

There's a lot of labor and expertise to get 2x4s and plywood to make strong, straight walls from dumped concrete.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47373683)

Consider yourself ceremoniously modded as I have previously posted.

As the Queen of England has no real power, this mod helps not a bit with your Karma.

Nonetheless, well posted.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47373743)

As the Queen of England has no real power,

The Queen has infinite power, so long as she chooses to not wield it. Of course, I live in a commonwealth country, and saying that could get me into a fight, but nobody has actually argued it, other than being offended I'd say something that diminishes the Queen's Divine Right.

Re:What does this solve? (1)

mikael (484) | about 6 months ago | (#47374011)

Maybe they want to reduce the number of trees cut down to make those plywood sheets? Don't forget the amount of chemicals used to kill off insects, make the wood fireproof, adjust the color, bind the woodchips together.

Can you say... (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 6 months ago | (#47372141)

...phthalates and bisphenol A vapors?

Re:Can you say... (5, Funny)

MrNickname (1918152) | about 6 months ago | (#47372189)

Actually, I'm pretty sure I can't.

Re:Can you say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373407)

I can't say stuff like that but my cat can if she gets mad enough.

Re:Can you say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372195)

Out of cement?

Re:Can you say... (2)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 6 months ago | (#47372457)

...read the headline, not the summary?

Or perhaps you have an idiosyncratic understanding of the word "concrete".

Re:Can you say... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47372475)

Are they using cheap plastic cement?

Re:Can you say... (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47372669)

phtala... phathla... phtahla...

Nope, I can't.

Invest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372249)

Time to invest in a few of these companies.

Advantage? (3, Insightful)

SlayerofGods (682938) | about 6 months ago | (#47372297)

While 3d printing is cool and all what advantage does 'printing' concrete slabs offer or normal precast molds and just pouring the concrete in the old fashion way?
The article doesn't make it clear, but since this is a company and not an experiment one has to assume they see sort of useful reason in doing it this way, but for the life of me I don't see what it is.
If you're using a mold for concrete it's almost literally as fast as you can pour the concrete when using one...

Re:Advantage? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372375)

Jesus, does anybody really have to explain this to you? You do realise that the printer is controlled by SOFTWARE? You do realise that because of that, you don't have to make a DIFFERENT MOULD for every type of wall you want to build, because you don't use a mould? Jesus.

You can create round walls, walls of different heights, etc. You can eventually take your printer out to the building site and build directly onto the foundations, etc.etc.

How can people actually be asking stupid questions like this?

Re:Advantage? (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | about 6 months ago | (#47372607)

You've obviously never done construction... there's no market for 7' 11" walls, 8 foot walls, and 8' 1" walls when 8 foot walls will work fine.... goto a lumber store, you'll fine 2x4, 2x6, and 2x8, etc. Why? It's not like the saw couldn't be easily be programmed to cut out a 2x3.75453 board it's just no one cares.
And even for the options you would need available you could have 1000s of molds for the price of one of these printers.... 1000s of molds that can all be working at once while this printer can only doing one thing at a time.

Re:Advantage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372763)

And the prize for narrowly interpreting the idea in order to lodge an objection goes to...

Re:Advantage? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47372485)

This is a process for pre-fab walls. Not on-site pouring.

Re:Advantage? (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | about 6 months ago | (#47372541)

You can pour in the factory if that's what floats your boat.

Re:Advantage? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47373039)

They do. With a process that hints at being cheaper/faster than traditional concrete molds. That was the point of the article.

No, They Didn't (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#47372311)

RE: the headline

No. From TFA:

Yingchuang New Materials Inc. was able to print the shells of 10 one-room structures in 24 hours

The way this summary is worded, they make it sound like this company actually printed the buildings in place. Which did not, in fact, happen.

No Feasible for North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372319)

There is no way this will fly here, as there are so many building codes it would have to get past.

First thing that comes to mind is the structures ability to withstand an Earthquake.
Being as you cannot put rebar in to the concrete of a 3-D printer or its mold, you lose a ton of strength from your structure.

Second, major structures have PVC conduits running through the slab, so unless they make a 3D printer that can print Concrete, Steel, and Plastic, all at once, without any of those pieces losing strength, then existing construction methods will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.

Re:No Feasible for North America (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#47372675)

You're not really seeing 3D printing for what it is. It shouldn't be all that hard to design a printer to deal with vertical rebar. It needs to be a 5 axis machine, but printing concrete on the surface of rebar should be no biggie. Heck, the rebar structure to be printed on can be also "printed" by a machine that can cut, locate and spot-weld rebar. The conduits are plastic only because the usual pouring method needs something to contain the void while the poured concrete is curing. With 3D printing, you just print the voids and you don't need any conduits.

Re:No Feasible for North America (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 6 months ago | (#47372929)

so to set all this up and program it, you could have still made it by traditional means in about the same cost and time

Re:No Feasible for North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373543)

Until you need to bash out 20,000 of them at which point the benefit should become obvious.

Re:No Feasible for North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373797)

Conduit absolutely makes pulling cable as well as feeding the "snake" for this easier/possible.

My takeaway on this: (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 6 months ago | (#47372405)

Chinese, in contrast to Americans, are more interested in 3D-printing buildings than in 3D-printing guns.
Color me misinformed.

Re: My takeaway on this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372429)

Get your priorities straight.

Obviously they need the guns first, so that they can defend the houses.

Duh!

Re:My takeaway on this: (1)

confused one (671304) | about 6 months ago | (#47373071)

We don't need to print small one room huts in the U.S. We have more than enough old shipping containers lying around to fulfill this requirement.

They didn't 3d print the house in place... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 6 months ago | (#47372447)

they 3d printed bits of it and then assembled them...

which is probably fine just a distinction.

One from column "A"... (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#47372797)

The problem is that a half-hour after you move into one of these houses, you want to move into another.

Just wait till they start printing AVEs (2)

Baldrson (78598) | about 6 months ago | (#47372901)

The primary cost of building a tropical doldrum Atmospheric Vortex Engine is a huge hollow structure called the "arena" that contains the low pressure created by the vortex. The low pressure is relieved through compact, high speed turbines at the base of the arena. Since the turbines are compact they don't have to be costly and since they are high speed they don't have to be numerous.

What good is a tropical doldrum Atmospheric Vortex Engine?

It can generate its own building material from the ocean and atmosphere -- so if you can print them rapidly you can have rapid doubling time exponential growth in clean baseload electric production that within a decade dwarfs all energy use by civilization.

Oh, and it also provides tropical atoll seasteads sufficient to feed and house the total population of the world.

Seastead this [blogspot.com] .

Re:Just wait till they start printing AVEs (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 6 months ago | (#47373727)

pure calcium carbonate? concrete has an aggregate, sand and rocks for example, bound with that. otherwise you have a giant eggshell or snail shell, not too hard

Re:Just wait till they start printing AVEs (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#47373899)

Impressive, but can you fit a timecube into it?
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