Chinese company builds 3D-printed apartment block

20 Jan 2015

The 3D-printed apartment block built by WinSun. Image via Caixan

A Chinese 3D-printing company is building a reputation for itself after it completed its first five-storey apartment block, as well as an 11,840 sq-foot luxury villa.

The company called WinSun has been busy over the past year creating a number of different large construction projects with the help of a 3D printer that creates a mixture of construction and industrial waste that is then combined with quick-dry cement and an equally fast hardening agent to build components at an exceptional rate.

According to CNet, the printer WinSun has developed is larger than the average high-end consumer model, measuring in at 20 feet x 33 feet x 132 feet that produces the parts of the apartment block which is then pieced together like a giant Lego set.

Much cheaper than standard builds

Then all that’s required is to make sure it meets regulated building standards by inserting steel supports and insulation to the structure.

Based in an industrial park in Suzhou in eastern China, the apartment block was also part of a project that created the luxury villa that houses a number of decorative pieces, also designed by the 3D-printing company.

By creating the apartment block and villa through 3D-printing, WinSun is believed to have cut its cost with a comparable standard-build project by as much as 60pc, with up to 70pc lower production time and as much as 80pc lower cost.

The villa alone is believed to have cost the company as little as US$161,000 (€139,000). WinSun hopes its model of recycling building material will create a model where the demand for mining natural resources will be reduced in the future.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic