3D Printing in Architecture: One Step Closer to a Sustainable Built Environment

  • Figen Beyhan
  • Semra Arslan Selçuk
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 6)


Sustainability has become a very popular term in many disciplines and investors/researchers devote a considerable amount of time and money for related studies to define their policies as well as initiatives on this subject. Today CAD/CAM technologies propose a wide range of concepts and implementation that support the concept of sustainability. Recent studies show that, developing computational technologies and 3D printers have potential to change the way we built our environment. From this respect this paper evaluates the use 3D printers in construction through recently built pioneering examples from the sustainability point of view. Results indicate that the special features of the 3D printing process, such as faster and precise construction, reduced labour costs and construction waste etc. these technologies offer a revolutionary approach in terms of sustainability.


Computational design CAD/CAM 3D printing Architectural technology Waste materials 


  1. 1.
    Kolarevic B (ed) (2004) Architecture in the digital age: design and manufacturing. Taylor & Francis, p 2Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Estateyieh I, Arslan Selçuk S (2016) Integrated digital design and fabrication strategies for complex structures: re-experiencing wood joinery in architecture. Int J Archit Urban Stud 1(1):53–60Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Celani MGC (2002) Beyond analysis and representation in CAD: a new computational approach to design education. Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Hergunsel MF (2011) Benefits of building information modeling for construction managers and BIM based scheduling. Doctoral dissertation, Worcester Polytechnic InstituteGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Selçuk SA, Sorguç AG (2015) Reconsidering the role of biomimesis in architecture: an holistic approach for sustainability. In: 2nd international sustainable building symposium—ISBS 2015, Ankara, pp 382–388Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Arslan Selçuk S, Gönenç Sorguç A (2015) Bilgisayar Ekranından Şantiyeye. Yapı Dergisi 407:154–160Google Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    Bhandari S, Regina B (2014) 3D printing and its applications. Int J Comput Sci Inf Technol Res 2(2):378–380Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Patents. Apparatus for production of three dimensional objects by stereolithography. US6027324A.
  11. 11.
    Prakash B (2016) 3D printing and its applications. Int J Sci Res (IJSR) 5(3):1532–1535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hager I, Golonka A, Putanowicz R (2016) 3D printing of buildings and building components as the future of sustainable construction? Procedia Eng 151:292–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    McKinsey Global Institute (2013) Disruptive technologies: advances that will transform life, business and the global economy. McKinsey Global Institute & Company, Seoul/South KoreaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kamath AV (2009) Integrating digital design and fabrication and craft production. Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wohlers T, Gornet T (2014) History of additive manufacturing.
  16. 16.
    Gebler M, Uiterkamp AJS, Visser C (2014) A global sustainability perspective on 3D printing technologies. Energy Policy 74:158–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
    CSC Leading Edge Forum (2012) 3D printing and the future of manufacturing.
  20. 20.
    Baumers M (2012) Economic aspects of additive manufacturing: benefits, costs and energy consumption. Doctoral thesis, Loughborough University, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Campbell T, Williams C, Ivanova O, Garrett B (2011) Could 3D printing change the world? Technologies, and implications of additive manufacturing. Atlantic Council, Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Petrovic V, Gonzales JVH, Ferrado OJ, Gordillo JD, Puchades JRB, Ginan LP (2011) Additive layered manufacturing: sectors of industrial application shown through case studies. Int J Prod Res 49(4):1071–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kreiger M, Pearce JM (2013) Environmental life cycle analysis of distributed three-dimensional printing and conventional manufacturing of polymer products. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 1(12):1511–1519Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Reeves P (2008) Additive manufacturing: a supply chain wide response to economic uncertainty and environmental sustainability. Econolyst Ltd., Derbyshire, UK.
  25. 25.
    Hopkinson N, Hague RJM, Dickens PM (2006) Rapid manufacturing. An industrial revolution for the digital age. Wiley, Chischester, West SussexGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Munoz C, Kim C, Armstrong L (2013) Layer-by-layer: opportunities in 3D printing technology trends, growth drivers and the emergence of innovative applications in 3D printing. MaRS Mark Insights.
  27. 27.
    Abel C (2004) Architecture, technology and process. Elsevier, Oxford, s.145Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Whirlwind Team (2016) Impacts of 3d printing on the construction industry.
  29. 29.
    Oosterhuis K (2004) File to factory and real time behavior in architecture, fabrication: examining the digital practice of architecture. In: Proceedings of conference of the AIA technology in architectural practice knowledge community, Cambridge, Ontario, pp 294–305Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Grozdanic L (2013) British architect designs first 3D printed element for use in the construction industry.
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
    Munn S, Soebarto V (2004) The issues of using recycled materials in architecture. In: The 38th international conference of architectural science association ANZAScA “Contexts of architecture”, Launceston, TasmaniaGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Cotteleer M, Holdowsky J, Mahto M (2014) The 3D opportunity primer: the basics of additive manufacturing.
  34. 34.
    Oberti I, Plantamura F (2015) Is 3D printed house sustainable? In: Proceedings of international conference CISBAT 2015 future buildings and districts sustainability from nano to urban scale, pp 173–178Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Bartolacci J (2014) How 10 houses were 3D-printed with recycled concrete in a single day.
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
  38. 38.
  39. 39.
    Van der Veen AC (2014) The structural feasibility of 3D-printing houses using printable polymers. Doctoral dissertation, TU Delft, Delft University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Penn A (2014) Construction on the world’s first 3d-printed house is underway in Amsterdam.
  41. 41.
  42. 42.
  43. 43.
  44. 44.
    Housing Observer (2015) 3D printing and the construction (article 3-December 2015) industry.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Faculty of ArchitectureGazi UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations