3D printed bioplastic: the future of construction?

To date, most 3D printed buildings have been built from concrete. Could bioplastics be a more sustainable option?

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a major part of the fourth industrial revolution and it will transform the construction sector, according to Zoubeir Lafhaj, an expert in the future of construction, from the graduate engineering school École Centrale de Lille, in France. “3D printing is a formidable tool to introduce robotisation into construction, and other kinds of innovation,” he explains. Lafhaj adds that it will also help tackle environmental issues such as reducing waste.

Currently most 3D printed construction projects use concrete, but Lafhaj is certain that is not the future. He says we need to move towards materials that use less energy, have a lower carbon footprint and produce less waste. Plastic is a good alternative because it is more environmentally friendly than concrete, Lafhaj says, but it also has another advantage. In dense urban environments, such as cities like Tokyo, it can be much easier and cheaper to import and move around. “In some areas in Japan there are not a lot of streets where you can construct new buildings,” he explains. “They need new materials that can be brought in without big machines.”

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published on http://www.allthings.bio

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