Research, Technology

5 impressive examples of what 3D construction printers are capable of

For the construction of any building, fromresidential building and ending with a huge skyscraper, a large team of specialists is required. An architect creates a drawing of a building, engineers design load-bearing structures, and masons, roofers and other craftsmen are directly involved in construction. This has been the case for many years, but today the situation is different - in some countries the construction team is very small and sometimes consists of only 2-3 people. The fact is that for construction, large 3D printers are increasingly used, which impose layers of durable materials, creating full-fledged structures. Recently, the construction of the largest building printed on such equipment began in Germany. We think this is a great opportunity to tell you about the most interesting projects of this kind.

Construction 3D printers are no longer science fiction - on the right is a residential building in Germany created using this technology


  • 1 How a construction 3D printer works
  • 2 The largest building in Europe
  • 3 Dubai office 3D printed
  • 4 Five-story house on a 3D printer
  • 5 Printing houses on a 3D printer in Russia
  • 6 Printing a dam in China with a 3D printer

How a construction 3D printer works

The idea of ​​using 3D printers in constructionemerged around the end of the 2000s. At first they were prototypes and the first buildings were very primitive. Over time, experts have found the most suitable compositions of "ink", and the devices have become more complex in structure and, accordingly, more accurate.

Construction 3D printers look different, here's one. Source:

How a construction 3D printer worksthe same as the usual one. First, a special "ink", usually a mixture of cement and sand, is loaded into the printer. The printer then begins to print the object, layering that material one on top of the other. The equipment is controlled by a program that indicates exactly where to apply each layer. Printing continues until the entire object has been created.

Demonstration of the 3D printer from the Insider Art YouTube channel

Modern 3D printers for construction withoutproblems cope with the printing of walls, partitions and facades of buildings. Plumbing and other elements are carried out manually - this task is not for automatic equipment.

See also: A 3D-printed house rented in Holland. What is it good for?

The largest building in Europe

That the seal of the largest Europeanthe building will be occupied by a 3D printer, many managed to write - for example, the authors of the Gizmochina publication. The facility will be located in the German city of Heidelberg and will serve as a data center, hundreds of computer servers will be placed inside it. The height of the German data center will reach 9 meters, and the length and width will be 55 and 11 meters, respectively. Thanks to 3D printing, the construction will take only 140 hours and will be completed at the end of July 2023.

3D printer will print a huge data center in a few days

Huge size is not the onlyfeature of the future building. The printer will be loaded with media i. tech 3D, developed by the German company Heidelberg Materials. It is unique in that it is fully recyclable, reduces material consumption by 70% and leaves a minimal carbon footprint. In general, this material will delight conservationists.

Office in Dubai 3D printed

In 2016, on the territory of the Dubai complexEmirates Towers, an "office of the future" was created, consisting of several small premises with a total area of ​​250 square meters. According to Livin Spaces, each building has a semicircular shape - this decision was made in order to ensure safety and give greater strength.

3D printed office in Dubai outside

For the construction of office spaceused a 3D printer with dimensions of 6x36x12 meters. He layered the cement mixture on top of each other, and this approach greatly accelerated the construction - the process took 17 days. First, the fragments of the structure were created in the Winsun workshop, after which they were transferred to the right place and put together in a couple of days.

Office interior in Dubai

After completion of work, the Government of Dubaistressed that 3D printing saved 50% of the budget. One person was selected to supervise the printing equipment, and seven workers took over the assembly of the building. Also, 10 electricians and other specialists participated in the work - the team was large, but not as much as at a regular construction site.

See also: Why Hong Kong is building houses with a "hole" in the middle

Five-story house on a 3D printer

In 2015, the above-mentioned Winsunsurprised the public by using a 3D printer to build a five-story house in Jiangsu province in eastern China. We talked about this project in the article "Chinese company showed a printed 5-story house." The total area of ​​the building is 1100 square meters - in this house there is definitely a place for several large families.

5-storey 3D-printed house in Dubai

The photograph clearly shows that the walls of the house consist of many layers.

A 3D printer was used to build the house6 meters long, 10 meters wide and 40 meters high. Specialists created a three-dimensional model of the building on a computer, after which the printer printed it in layers. As an ink, a mixture of particles of concrete, fiberglass, sand and a substance to strengthen them was used. The use of such a mixture not only made it possible to save money, but also endowed the building with good properties: the walls block sound well, do not let the cold through and absorb seismic waves.

Printing houses on a 3D printer in Russia

Construction 3D printers are also available in Russia.According to, in 2017, AMT-Spetsavia printed a house in Yaroslavl with an area of ​​298.5 square meters. The construction took longer than in the projects listed above - construction began in 2015, and the finishing work and installation of the roof were completed only two years later. The experts stressed that the house has electricity, water and everything you need for life - the building meets all the rules and regulations of individual housing construction (IZHS).

3D printed house in Yaroslavl. Source: Irina Stolba/RG

Printing a dam in China with a 3D printer

In 2022, the Tibetan Plateau beganthe construction of the most grandiose structure using a 3D printer - the Yangqu Dam. It is expected to be able to generate up to 5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity for China. The height of the dam will be 180 meters, that is, after construction, it will become the largest 3D-printed structure in the world. Not only will a huge 3D printer be used in the construction, but it will also be controlled by artificial intelligence.

Start of construction of a huge dam in China

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If you want to learn more about the Yangqu Dam,read our article “Artificial intelligence will build a dam in China. Is it even possible?". In it, we also wrote why this project may cause a shortage of jobs in China.