Chinese company unveils world’s tallest 3D building

We’ve all heard about 3D printing, but most of us are unlikely to actually own a 3D printer, or if we do then we would only be printing small scale objects. However this is not the case for a Chinese company, WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co who have put 3D printing to the test and last year created ten houses in less than 24 hours using 3D printing techniques.

However, they have gone one better and have created the world’s tallest 3D printed building – a five storey apartment block as well as a three storey mansion that covers an area of 1,100 square metres.

Both these buildings are currently on show in Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province, and are representing how far 3D printed construction can actually go. There is definitely potential to create buildings that are more traditional in style to suit more mainstream developers.

In order to create these buildings, a 6.6 by 10 metre tall printer was used. Layers of an “ink” is built up which is made from a mixture of glass fibre, steel, cement as well as hardening agents and recycled construction waste. Large sections of the building can therefore be printed and are assembled together in order to create the final building. This approach is similar to prefabricated concrete designs.

When asked about the safety of these buildings, the Chief engineer of China Construction No.8 Engineering Bureau Ma Rongquan explained: “These two houses are in full compliance with the relevant national standards. It is safe, reliable, and features a good integration of architecture and decoration. But as there is no specific national standard for 3D printing architecture, we need to revise and improve such a standard for the future.”

These buildings are just prototypes and remain unoccupied, but show exactly what can be achieved with 3D printing, giving an idea of what the future in construction could look like. The company has already seen orders from Tomson Group, a Taiwanese real estate company for ten mansions, whilst the Egyptian Government has ordered 20,000 houses.
Published on 3rd of February 2015 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich


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