There have been a number of notable companies moving in interesting directions and providing creative solutions to keep building America. Here are just a few that piqued my interest.
Branch Technology is a Tennesse-based full-service firm that is exploring 3D printers in construction in a process known as Cellular Fabrication. A great application is commercial facade systems as shown in the video above. From an artistic standpoint, this is great. However, I’d be interested in Branch’s use of 3D printers for structural applications.
Because of the multitude of shapes you can achieve with 3D printed lattices, perhaps it could be applicable in fixing damaged buildings without replacing entire walls. Just like 3D printers are utilized in replacing or supporting bones.
The other company innovating fast in construction is ICON which is producing 3D-printed houses in Austin Texas. I imagine the ideal application is bringing this 3D printer to some underserved areas and using the material on site i.e mud to print houses. You must also bring additives to assist with forming. The pros seem to be environmentally friendly and reduce labor. While cons are limited material types(plastic & concrete.) And it also seems like creating multi-story buildings is not practical with the method. I can imagine a plethora of logistical issues arise when you try to build a building bigger than your 3D printer size.
Grabber Construction Products
Grabber’s CNC drywall panel fabrication makes a lot of sense. You move drywall to a pre-design phase. Understand your pannels and line up your machine and stack the drywall cuts for quick installation later. I believe it has a lot of high-end implications as you can make corners, alcoves, and recesses. It reduces waste by instead of cutting pleases you simply corner them. You save a lot on not having to buy corner trim. BOXY will integrate a system like this in the near future to go along with our modular wall panels.