Take a look at this beautiful villa - it was 3D printed by WinSun in China.
(3D printed villa video)
Now in their 12th year of business, WinSun holds 98 national patents for construction materials. Their experiences in construction have allowed them to truly innovate in the area of 3D printing technology. For example in the 2004 and 2005, the company developed a 3D printing spray nozzle and automatic material feeding system. Then, in 2008, WinSun printed the wall of an actual building.
Today's press conference attracted more than 300 building industry experts, investment bankers as well as media reporters. Ma Yi He, CEO of WinSun explained: the company's success is due to their unique and leading techniques. First is their exclusive 3D printing 'ink,' which is a mixture of recycled construction waste, glass fiber, steel, cement and special additives. According to Ma, waste from recycling construction and mine rest produces a lot of carbon emissions, but with 3D printing, the company has turned that waste into brand new building materials. This process also means that construction workers are at less risk of coming into contact with hazardous materials or work environments.
The company told us that the 3D printing villa was specially designed for Tomson Group, one of the most well-known Taiwanese-owned real estate company. The total costs attached to printing this villa amount to more than 1 million yuan ((161k USD), though 10 sets have already been pre-ordered.
The earliest sf reference (not to mention the earliest reference period) that I know of for 3D printing is from Things Pass By, a 1945 story by Murray Leinster:
It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes. This thing will start at one end of a ship or a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.
(Read more about Leinster's Plastic Constructor)