Dongchen Han Hongxi Yin Ming Qu Jian Zhu Alex Wickes
Abstracts:Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is increasingly playing an essential role in the customization of prefabricated buildings. To demonstrate its high-quality, cost, and time-saving advantages, this paper first presents a technical analysis of prefabricated formwork-making using 3D printing. Then, we compare 3D printing to the two conventional methods of manual wood and computer numerical control (CNC) foam using a demonstration house with curved walls specially designed and constructed using these three formwork-making methods. We concluded from our comparison that the 3D-printed polymer-based formwork-making method performed best in accuracy and time, and generated greater cost-effectiveness than did the manual wood and CNC foam formwork-making methods for the mass production of customized prefabricated buildings. Lastly, this paper provides design guidelines for architects to help achieve the highest economic savings and efficiency in customized prefabricated formwork utilizing the 3D printing method.