WinSun Decoration Design Engineering is putting tonnes of construction waste into better use by converting the discarded material into ‘inks’ for their 32-metre-long 3D printers.
By mixing the construction and industrial waste with cement, WinSun has built ten single-storey houses in less than 24 hours using the 3D printer, the Shanghai-based company revealed recently.
Currently, building construction and demolition in China generates about 1.5 billion tonnes of waste annually, of which only up to five per cent is recycled and reused, according to non-profit organisation The Climate Group.
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“Finding effective and low carbon methods of recycling and reusing this waste could make a significant impact in China’s carbon emissions,” said the group, following the release of their report on construction waste recycling early this year.
Ma Yihe, WinSun’s CEO and inventor of the printers, reportedly noted how this new type of housing is designed to be environment-friendly and cost-effective. Ma’s company plans to build 100 recycling facilities to meet the growing demand for the 3D structure, since the cost of each house goes for only less than US$5,000.
3D printing technologies are not entirely new, Ma admitted. He has been making 3D printers for 12 years, building and assembling these printers from parts purchased abroad. “We recycle mine tailings into usable materials. And we can print buildings with any digital design our customers bring us. It’s fast and cheap,” Ma explained to Xinhua news agency.
The company eventually hopes to build skyscrapers made of these repurposed waste in the future.