American engineering company, AECOM (NYSE:ACM) has announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese 3D printing company WinSun, otherwise known as Yingchuang Building Technique.

AECOM, headquartered in Los Angeles, provides design, consulting, construction, and management services with an annual revenue of $17.4 billion for 2016.

With the three-year agreement, AECOM and WinSun intend to provide the 3D printing construction technology to clients across the globe.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed at a ceremony in Suzhou, China. Photo via Aecom.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed at a ceremony in Suzhou, China. Photo via Aecom.

Untapped potential

WinSun is one of the many companies in the 3D printing industry applying the technology for construction of full-scale buildings. WinSun’s technique involves extruding layers of concrete on top of one another, and the company recently announced it will lease concrete 3D printers to Saudi Arabia.

At the signing ceremony in Suzhou, China AECOM’s SVP and People’s Republic of China regional executive, Ian Chung said,

The potential for 3D printing to transform the infrastructure industry is still largely untapped and we are excited by the prospect of introducing this capability into suitable future projects around the world in consultation with our clients and in collaboration with WinSun,

According to Chung, the partnership will bring together AECOM’s “strengths in integrated delivery of the built environment and the technology thought leadership of WinSun in construction 3D printing.” Chung believes 3D printing will “help our global network of clients achieve faster turnaround times with a lower carbon footprint from the whole construction process.”

The Winsun apartment block. Photo via: Winsun Global

The Winsun 3D printed apartment block. Photo via: WinSun Global

Integrating construction 3D printing across the globe

Mr. Yihe Ma, chairman of WinSun said his company was pleased and honored to partner “on this strategic global initiative.” Mr. Yihe Ma also states the partnership will “enable us to further accelerate the development of our construction 3D printing technology and help drive the integration of construction 3D printing technology into planning and design.”

According to the two companies, AECOM and WinSun have already explored potential collaborative projects with clients in the Middle East. The two companies also envisage other potential areas for the technology to be in developing areas of Asia and Africa.

Elsewhere in the development of 3D printing construction MIT have developed a new robot, known as the Digital Construction Platform, that is capable of printing a building in 14 hours. And Russian company Apis Cor has successfully 3D printed a full-scale house in a day.

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Featured image shows the AECOM developed the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building in New South Wales Australia. Photo via AECOM. 

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