The 3D printing of concrete structures has been around for a while now, but it’s still not come very far in development, considering it is quite an ingenious and sustainable building alternative. However, engineer Lewis Yakich, has recently successfully printed a hotel suite in the Philippines. The suite will be part of the hotel he owns in the area.
The suite measures 1500 sq ft and consists of a living area and two bedrooms, as well as a spa that features a 3D printed Jacuzzi tub. To build the suite, Lewis collaborated with Andrey Rudenko, who 3D printed a small castle about a year ago. Andrey also designed the printer that was used to print the hotel suite.
It took about two months to create the printer for this job, and another month to develop the right concrete mixture for the job. The latter was made using locally available materials, such as sand with volcanic ash. This material is rather difficult to extrude. However, they succeeded and the builders are confident that the finished product has good bonding between the printed layers and that the walls are strong. Also, they believe that the whole building process can now be replicated in just a few weeks, since the assembly and preparation have now been figured out.
The plumbing and wiring was done in the traditional way, but next time, they will incorporate this into the printing process itself. They plan on further refining the process in the future, as they 3D print more homes. These could be offered as low-cost housing in the Philippines and elsewhere, based on the need for affordable housing solutions.
3D printing of homes looks like it could be the future, given how fast and efficient it is. However, the US and Europe are currently lagging behind, while Asia is embracing the technology and making huge strides forward.