Recently, Chinese company Winsun New Materials used their giant 3D printer to assist in the rapid construction of 10 houses in less than 24 hours. The 22ft tall printer was used to construct insulated building blocks of diagonally reinforced structural patterns made of cement & glass that were then used in the swift manufacture of the modest homes. Built from mostly recycled materials, each home cost less than $5,000 to make with minimal assembly time.
The Chinese are well known for building skyscrapers in record time. In 2012, the Broad Group built a 30-story hotel in just 15 days. By prefabricating large sections of these buildings in factories and then shipping them to the site before construction, this process has been reported to expedite assembly, provide superior structural integrity, and also impart high environmental standards due to energy and waste reduction.
China has not been known for being proud advocates of human rights or for being on the right side of environmental issues, but they now have an opportunity to be on the forefront of these topics.
By showcasing these different techniques and thumbing their nose at the modern standards of building and construction, China has flexed their intellectual and industrial muscle. Now is the time for these methods to be used at a much larger scale.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
The UDHR was adopted by the United Nations in 1948. However, in 2005, it was estimated that more than 100 million people worldwide were homeless, a statistic that continues to grow. We can only hope that other companies will learn from Winsun’s 3D printing techniques, which could be used to provide low income housing for major urban areas on a global scale and provide everyone with one of the most essential human rights.