Wells Concrete has just finished manufacturing our first project using 3D printed molds. The project name is the University Of Minnesota Pioneer Hall in Minneapolis.
Advantages of 3-D printing in the construction industry:
- Complex designs – 3D Printing allows complicated, complex models to be developed and used in our manufacturing process; whereas wood and plastic would have been used in the past and limited the possibilities of designs. 3D printing can build curvilinear structures (rather than rectilinear forms).
- Durability – the amount of scrap from wood and plastic would be significantly reduced as a typical mold can be used over and over whereas wood and plastic have to be replaced and repaired every few uses.
- Improved Project Planning – an important part of every project plan is the design. With 3D printing, companies will be able to quickly create models to have a visual representation of the project as well as help pinpoint problem areas and avoid delays.
- Economical – as the technology continues to improve, 3D printing costs will continue to decrease allowing for wide spread use of this technology. As labor is a limited resource, 3D printing can eliminate some of the labor required on creating elaborate forming buildups.
The two pictures below are the 3D molds (black window sills) in the form and the finished product.