Remember last year, when the Chinese engineering firm WinSun 3D printed a bunch of houses? It made the news because they printed them so quickly—ten structures in less than 24 hours.
The structures themselves weren't huge, just 200-square-meter, one-story bungalows. But now WinSun's set their goals higher, literally. They've 3D printed the structures you see here, which include a freaking five-story apartment building and a 1,100-square-meter (roughly 12,000-square-foot) villa.
To be clear, they didn't print the structures out in one shot. As with the earlier 10-house batch, they printed out individual panels which were then knocked together by conventional construction workers, and in this case they didn't even print on-site, but back at the factory.
The pieces were then transported to the site and assembled.
Whether printed on-site or not, these feats are amazing for several reasons. One, the material they're using is a mixture of cement and industrial waste. So in addition to their incredible claim that their process generates "no waste"—someone's gotta take a hard look at that—they actually use up waste that was generated elsewhere as they build new structures.
Two, WinSun claims this method of buildings saves "60% on materials, 70% on time and 80% on labor" and is quieter than conventional construction to boot.
Three is the company's pure ambition. WinSun isn't stopping at five stories or limiting themselves to housing; they envision using their technology in the future to put up bridges and skyscrapers.