Construction 3D printing is a technique for creating construction elements or entire buildings by layering concrete, polymer, metal, or other materials on a 3D printer. The most common printer extrudes concrete back and forth using a robotic arm. Other 3D printing techniques include powder binding and additive welding. Design freedom is one of the most appealing aspects of 3D printing. Architects can create complex designs that would be impossible, prohibitively expensive, or time-consuming to develop using traditional construction methods.
3D printing is used in many industries for prototyping, product development, and production. Automotive and construction industries embrace 3D printing to drive digital transformation, gain shorter lead times, greater design freedom, and digital manufacturing. The application of 3D Printing in the construction industry is growing. Certain aspects of the construction industry are expected to expand faster than others.
3D printing in construction is a new technology that uses a machine to create and assemble structures, replacing some manual labor. Constructing new buildings can be more cost-effective, convenient, and environmentally friendly. 3D printing also aids in reducing logistical processes and waste. Since it directly molds raw material into construction, it eliminates the need for traditional wooden molds. When combined with other waste-reducing techniques and building methods like prefabrication and lean construction, the possibility of a waste-zero building becomes more realistic.
The increased environmental concerns about construction waste, the chance of customization and architectural flexibility utilizing this technology, and the rapid creation of prototypes most influence this growth. Additionally, several benefits such as faster manufacturing, reduced waste, design freedom, and reduced human error drive the demand for 3D printing in the construction industry. Furthermore, different components used in the construction industry can be created using 3D printing. One of them is made of concrete. In 2021, the concrete 3D printing sector was worth USD 56.4 million. The number of well-planned, innovative, new projects in the construction sector is primarily driving this expansion.
The increased use of Building Information Modeling is one of the major factors driving industry growth (BIM). BIM is the substructure of digital transformation in the engineering, architecture, and infrastructure industries. A highly collaborative perspective allows real estate developers, architects, manufacturers, engineers, contractors, and other infrastructure professionals to plan, design, and construct a 3D structure or building.
As a result of lower production costs on material waste, the market is booming. 3D printers utilize only the amount of material needed, which saves money. Furthermore, three-dimensional printers can use recycled materials that are environmentally friendly. These factors help to reduce costs, which drives market growth.
Asia-Pacific holds the largest share of the global 3D printing construction market. It is expected to reach USD 2,880 million by 2030, generating a CAGR of 94%. Asia-Pacific controls the majority of the global 3D printing construction industry. The 3D printing technology is expected to gain significant traction during the forecast period as the region establishes itself as a global manufacturing hub. The presence of many manufacturing sectors contributes to the region's overall economic growth. Due to the existence of several manufacturers, the region is an important market for 3D printing construction. The growing demand for 3D printing construction in the building and infrastructure end-use sectors is also going to fuel the development of the market.
The European market is projected to expand steadily over the forecast period. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 833 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 87.7%. Many European market players, such as the United Kingdom, are soaring in their investment opportunities in 3D printing, propelling market growth in the region. For instance, Skanska, a construction engineering firm, announced a joint venture with Loughborough University in the United Kingdom in May 2020. This collaborative effort is meant to raise the use of 3D printing technology in the country's construction sector.
Key players in the 3D printing construction market are Yingchuang Building Technique, COBOD International A/S, Apis Cor, XtreeE, WASP S.r.l, CyBe Construction, MX3D, Contour Crafting Corp, ICON Technology, Inc, SIKA AG, Construction 3D, Monolite UK, Betabram, Rohaco, Imprimerie AG, Beijing Huashang Luhai Technology, Total Kustom, Spetsavia, and Others.