06 de Janeiro de 2023. 00h00
3D printing: can it make a mark on construction

The market for 3D printing in construction is booming, but certain parts of the world are faster to embrace it than others. In Dubai, for instance, the government announced in 2018 that 25% of its state-built buildings would be 3D printed by 2025. Meanwhile, China, the Netherlands and Italy have been vying for who can print the longest bridge, and in the US, specialist builder Icon is on site with the world’s largest 3D-printed housing development, a 100-home estate in Georgetown, Texas.

In the UK our efforts so far have been much more modest. In September 2022, BAM installed a 3D-printed staircase for a footbridge over the M8 motorway near Glasgow which it believed was “the largest printed concrete construction in the UK to date”.

“We were looking around internally for projects to trial it on,” recalls BAM Nuttall’s head of innovation Colin Evison. “On a call with a couple of my colleagues they mentioned a project for Glasgow City Council. They were keen to try something a bit different and see if there were any savings to be made.”