3D Printed Concrete Is Already Here
The field of construction has benefited a lot from the progressive strides made in 3D printing. There are a few critics who claim to be waiting for all those elaborative architectural designs to come to life but there have been many offices and buildings that have been printed via 3D printer and are currently under use. The progress has been slow and 3D printing in the field of construction is still in its nascent stage but it is there. There are printer that can “print” bricks and drones that function independently at construction sites. We are also beginning to see huge delta styled 3D printers emerging for construction.
Materials to be used have often been the bone of contention among researchers but that is set to be solved as well. A recent study by Research and Markets has proposed concrete to be used as 3D printing material in construction and they have discussed this in their publication titled 3D Concrete Printing Market By Product Type, by Concrete Type, by Software, by End-Use Sector & by Region – Forecast to 2021. Concrete is not only widely used but is familiar to everyone as well.
This induction will definitely have a huge impact on the construction industry with speed, accuracy and aesthetics, all set to benefit from it. It will play a large role in the future of construction of buildings. Research and Markets have taken into consideration new construction trends as well and the time period they examined, from 2015-2021, allows for a look at how construction will propel the growth of 3D printing, beginning with studying vendors and their revenues.
“The bottom-up procedure was employed to arrive at the overall size of the global 3D concrete printing market from the revenue of the key players,” says Research and Markets. They assessed market size first and then divided it into different segments which were further studied and verified with numerous comprehensive interviews with the higher-ups in many companies.
Following are some of the 3D concrete printer manufacturers, architects, contractors, and vendors they see making up the ecosystem:
- DUS Architects (The Netherlands)
- Skanska (Sweden)
- Fosters + Partners (U.K.)
- WinSun Global (China)
- Sika (Europe)
- LafargeHolcim (Europe)
- Balfour Beatty (U.K.)
- Carilliom Plc (U.K.)
The study shows that many construction companies are and will be using concrete 3D printing, and that it has also been growing in direct accordance with the industry overall, around the world. As industrialization increases, along with further urbanization, this leads to expanded building of a wide range of structures around the world.
The research divides the 3D concrete printing market into the following submarkets:
- Floors and roofs
- Panels and lintels
- Others (staircases and paving slabs)
By concrete type:
- Ready-mix concrete
- Precast concrete
- High-density concrete
- Others (lightweight concrete, limecrete, and stamped concrete)
By End-Use Sector:
- Architectural construction
- Industrial construction
- Domestic construction
- Others (sports, education, and healthcare)
- North America
- RoW (UAE and other countries in RoW)
The Research and Markets team believes that due to the current trends in the global economy, the projected market of 3D printed concrete will be around $56.4 million by 2021 which is a very promising figure. Leading the pack will be Asia Pacific. The research company sees this region as growing the fastest, offering the biggest demand, and being open to the use of the technology and materials. China will be the biggest consumer and already is the fastest growing country for the use of 3D printing due to growing need and the interest from the Chinese government.
Obvious obstacles to be considered are that of the amount of investment capital this technology can require—not to mention research and development—along with understanding how to use the hardware and put automation techniques into motion.