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3D Printing: An Affordable and Sustainable Housing Solution, Part 2 of 2

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In Western Asia, the United Arab Emirates has high expectations for the 3D printing construction industry. Dubai wants to 3D print a quarter of every new building by 2025 to cut down on costly building waste that harms the environment. “Clearly 3D printing is something that is going to impact construction massively in the future. The idea is to set a target for the country to slowly grow into the 3D printing technology.”

In Tabasco, Mexico, housing non-profit New Story, together with construction technology company ICON, and Mexican social housing organization Échale, has created the world’s first 3D printed community as a means to combat homelessness. The homes are granted to local families currently living in extreme poverty and unsafe shelters. Created for families currently living on less than $3 per day. Completed in about 24 hours of print time across several days; 500 square feet two bedrooms, one bathroom.

3D printing is not only used for office buildings and houses. The world's first 3D-printed steel bridge opened in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, earlier this summer. The 12-meter long 4.9-ton bridge was installed over one of the oldest canals in the city.

Philippe Block, a Professor at ETH Zurich, head of the Institute of Technology in Architecture, and co-director of the Block Research Group (BRG) says, “This precise method of 3D concrete printing allows us to combine the principles of traditional vaulted construction with digital concrete fabrication to use material only where it is structurally necessary without producing waste.”

Inspired by many new 3D printed structures, France also wants to build its first 3D printed bridge in Paris for the 2024 Olympic Games. The company awarded this project is XTreeE, a Paris-based large-scale additive manufacturing firm that specializes in concrete construction. The 40-meter-long footbridge load-bearing structure, or deck, will be entirely 3D printed with concrete.
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