In a world of economic scarcity, public housing has become essential for sheltering our species’ most vulnerable populations. Interestingly, the island city-state of Sinagpore having a one-of-a-kind approach to public housing, with 80% of the resident population living in government assemblings and, additional than that, the tiny nation implemented a few housing practices that the United States has a fewtimes been too afraid to tackle when it comes to public housing: socioeconomically integrated public createments. Now, Singapore is moving beyond these significant strategies to novel methods of construction, namely 3D printing.
The Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, built with $107.7 million in government and industry funding, is in the system of working with a company to test the feasibility of 3D printing public housing units storey by storey, off-site, preceding assembling them at their destination. Professor Chua Chee Kai, Executive Director of the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing tells GovInsider, “The thought is to print them perhaps a unit at a time. So if you have a 10 storey assembling, you can most most likely do one storey at a time. These can be transported to the construction site where they can be stacked up like lego.”
Utilizing concrete 3D printing equipment, the Centre has plans to create a test-bed prototype in three years time. Whilst the innovation has not really matured yet, the Singapore government believes that this can assist the country to minimize its dependence on foreign labor, typically utilized in the construction industry, to create homes for its elderly community.
Chua Chee Kai continues, “In the area of housing there are really big challenges. There is no assistance of 3D printing equipment and no availability of printable concrete. We have to create all this of scratch. The construction industry is typically quite conservative: assembling tends to be one of the last industries to try a fewthing new.” He adds that the structural components of the assemblings are those most most likely to be printed, while others can be created by traditional methods, saying, “Certain parts that are not sensible or not cost effective to 3D print, we can leave it to the conventional methods.”
Outside of construction, the Centre is exploring the possibilities of 3D printing weaponry for the military. Chua Chee Kai says, “Over time most equipment may go obsolete as manufacturers can stop supplying spare parts of older versions. So one of the things that defence is looking at quite carefully now is the management of spare parts.” On top of that, the Centre is involved in 3D printing for medicine, which include bioprinting, and has may already run trials of 3D printed bones in animals. Professor Chua believes that organs may be only ten to fifteen years away.