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With advancements in technology and innovative approaches to construction, residential 3D printing is emerging as a revolutionary solution that has the potential to transform residential construction. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, involves using computer-controlled machines to create three-dimensional objects by layering materials on each other. This cutting-edge technology is now being applied to the construction industry, paving the way for a new era of home construction. 

With China planning to solidify long-term lunar habitation, she will explore 3D printing technology by constructing habitable buildings on the moon. Chang’e 8 mission has a target of finding reusable resources on the moon to make “lunar soil bricks.”  

A 3D-printed public structure is currently being constructed by L & T Construction in Bengaluru, India. As part of the project, the first printed post office will be constructed in 45 days using a robotic printer that utilizes concrete deposits to construct the buildings. 

In Zimbabwe, Lafarge Holcim will build low-cost housing with the company’s concrete 3D printing technology. The technology is expected to reduce construction time and cost, which will be key in addressing the housing shortage faced in the country. Lafarge Holcim has already constructed a prototype house and a school in Malawi. Printing the walls of the house took 12 hours while the school was completed in 18 hours. The technology reduced up to 70% of the normal construction carbon footprint. 

One of the biggest advantages of residential 3D printing is its potential to significantly reduce construction costs. Traditional construction methods often involve complex and time-consuming processes, such as pouring concrete into molds and assembling components on-site. These methods can be labor-intensive and costly, resulting in increased construction expenses. However, with 3D printing, construction can be more efficient and cost-effective. 

On the other hand, with the external walls of a 3D-printed house being as small as  50mm, the durability may be questionable and whether they have the capacity to withstand natural disasters is also something of concern. 

As a developer in Zimbabwe, how can Zimbabweans make a transition to 3D-printed homes? 

Let us know what you think in the comments! 

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