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3D Printing… The Next New Thing in Home Construction?

by John Brydon-Harris on January 23rd, 2017

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So, it’s 2017. The end of the second decade of the twenty-first century is in sight. And you bet things can and will change.

Some see the future as exciting, with unlimited opportunities. That would be David Allison, who consults on commercial real estate (CRE) across the U.S. and Canada.

Others, says Allison in a three-part article in RENX’s Commercial Real Estate News, prefer to bury their heads in the sand, “and hope it all goes away.” Not a good plan, because creative disruption is now impacting CRE and most other industries. And a new year is a great time to embrace the change.

A lot of it is about the millennials, who “are coming at us like a train with no brakes.” And about technology, primarily 3D printing. And, in the final analysis, it’s about how these two disrupters will work together to potentially upset the CRE industry’s apple cart.

3D printing is already radically altered the auto industry (among many others), making it easy and cheap for small start-ups to become involved in manufacturing vehicles.

And it’s impacting the construction industry: Allison reports on a Chinese company that, in 2015, printed out ten houses in twenty-four hours. With the rapidly growing global population, 3D printing is looking good as a source of new housing to satisfy the demand from the world’s billions of citizens.

Says Allison, “This 3D printing stuff – most people think it’s sort of fun and cute and wacky. But really, it’s the next industrial revolution.” And its next target may well be the industry that will market and sell these new homes, offices, and retail spaces.

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