Recent articles on 3D printing in construction have sparked a lively debate. Igniting that conversation was a paper on the potential benefits of concrete 3D printing. The co-author of that paper is Mustafa Batikha, an Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt University.
Published last year, the study found that if a two-story structure built via precast concrete in the UAE had been 3D printed using a three-leaf printed cavity wall instead, the contractors’ material costs would’ve actually risen 44%.
This was due primarily to the expensive concrete needed for the build, as it was estimated that the proposed 3D printing method would be cheaper to carry out. Contrary to the often-cited eco-friendly benefits of the technology, the paper also showed that adopting it would only yield marginal sustainability gains.