3D Printers, Prints Affordable Homes

Environmentally friendly and economically viable plastic lumber was the new revolutionary material that transformed the patio furniture industry. The construction uses recycled milk jugs and plastic containers to manufacture recycled plastic lumber. The plastic lumber can be sawed, screwed, and cut in the same fashion as wood lumber. Recycled lumber is being used today for picnic tables, benches, patio furniture, decking, railing, and children’s playground equipment. Recycled lumber uses over 1.5 billion tons of recycled plastic that would otherwise be in our landfills today. 

However, recycled lumber, was just the beginning and has given way to building with the new technology of 3D printers. WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, a Chinese based company, just printed and constructed 10 one-room homes in 24 hours. The new printed homes are 650 square feet and cost around $4,800 to make one home. However, what is more surprising is the building material they used to print and construct these homes. WinSun used all recycled construction waste and cement to fabricate the walls of their homes. 

The company built four, 3D printers from parts they purchased overseas and had shipped to China. The printers stand 20 feet tall, and are 33 feet wide. Instead of ink these printers’s squeeze out discarded construction material like old cement, mine tailing, and other wastes found all over China. Each year, China produces 1.8 billion tones of construction waste from demolished buildings. In China the life of a building is only 30 years, so many buildings are demolished each year and their waste is left in the landfills. China only recycles 5% of their construction waste each year where Japan recycles 95% of their construction waste. 

In China 3D printing can be good for the environment, recycling all their construction waste and building new affordable homes. With 3D printing developers in China can cut their construction cost by reusing materials. Ma Yihe, WinSun’s CEO and printer inventor is planning on building 100 new recycling facilities across China. Therefore, China will be able to use recycled building material to print new home’s and clean up their environment.

However, the scale still seems to be a problem for this type of construction. The 3D printers have a limitation and only print the walls the size of the printer and not larger. Further, the printed walls need to be transported from the printer to the construction site. The new 3D technology in China gives hope to poor families that can’t afford homes. Plus, with this new technology China can start to clean up their environment by recycling old cement and glass from demolished buildings. 

The new technology of 3D printing has become more widely used and considered in the past few years. Today, manufactures and designers alike have used 3D printers to make jewelry, furniture, cars, wood, and new limbs for the handicapped. 3D printers are what we need today to recycle waste and turn it into a new usable product. With this new technology, the environment can be a safer, cleaner place for the future of our children.


Ann Johnston

About Ann Johnston

Ann enjoys writing, reading, gardening, fishing and the great outdoors. Her job has allowed her to travel and live in different countries. She enjoys studying and learning about different cultures.

Ann Johnston

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