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Industry Updates

3D Printing in the Construction Industry

It may come as a surprise to some but 3D printing is not new technology. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, was first created in the 1980s in Japan by Hideo Kodama. Kodama is responsible for creating the layer-by-layer approach to manufacturing. Despite his inability to file a patent for this technology, he along with a trio of French researchers, are credited for finding this technology. 

The patent for this technology did not come until 1986 by an American furniture Charles Hull. He submitted the patent application for the technology, and following in 1988 he founded the 3D Systems Corporation where he made the first commercial 3D printer.

Why does it exist?

3D printing is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. This process allows you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional methods. SLA was the first 3D technology created. SLA is a high-powered laser that turns a liquid resin into a solid material. This is completed from the ground up in a layer-by-layer fashion. 

 

How is 3D Printin used today?

 

Today, the 3D printing construction market is rapidly growing. Statista shares that the industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent between 2020 and 2023. This leaves a lot of room for growth and opportunities for those in the industry. The 3D market like many others includes an array of pros and cons when it comes to how it will be used. 

 

Benefits of this technology in the construction industry include the following:

 

  • Increase Speed – 3D printing allows for the building of homes or buildings in a matter of days as opposed to conventional construction which can take months or even years. According to Marco Vonk, Marketing Manager at Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix, “You save about 60% of the time on the Jobsite and 80% in labor.”
  • Design Freedom – 3D printing allows architects to create extremely difficult shapes that otherwise they may not have been able to create.
  • Waste Reduction – Because 3D printing is an additive technology, it only uses the amount of material needed for each job. 

 

The downside includes:

 

  • Labor Shortage – This is a prime example of technology replacing jobs of workers to save time and money.
  • Regulations – Digital Builder shares how there’s much uncertainty in this aspect of 3D printing in construction. Until laws and regulations are clearly defined, it’s unlikely that 3D printing will make too much of a mark in the construction sector. 

 

The unknown of 3D printing stops it from being such a mainstream way of life in the construction realm. As large companies such as BAM or Saint – Gobain continue to use this technology other companies will want to stay here as well. As the construction industry is one of the largest in the world, it is exciting to see new technology constantly created to help innovate and change the industry.

 

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Industry Updates

What to Expect for Lumber Prices in 2022

In 2021 we saw the housing industry boom, despite the global pandemic. The lumber industry, however, suffered. The demand for lumber was high but a lack of supply, along with an increase in tariffs, created tremendous inflation. 2021 saw the highest increase in pricing for lumber since 1949. So, what does this mean for lumber prices in 2022? 

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), increasing lumber prices are adding approximately $30,000 to the price of a new home. This is only adding to the insane increase that real estate has seen this year. The market can not bear more in the form of construction slow-downs. Already, 152,0000 single-family homes have been permitted but not yet started, this is a 43.4% increase from last year. 

What is Being Done About This?

 

The NAHB is taking the lead on this issue, and recently wrote a letter to President Biden. In this, they urged President Biden to direct the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to develop a new softwood lumber agreement. 

“In addition, we respectfully ask that you direct U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to returns to the negotiating table with Canada to develop a new softwood lumber agreement. Ending softwood lumber tariffs once and for all would be a significant step forward in addressing the longest trade dispute in U.S. History.”

The housing demand is strong and residential construction is expected to stay at its current pace through 2023. This makes it imperative to resolve the issue of lumber prices.

In addition to the letter, the NAHB met with top Canadian officials, to discuss the Commerce Department’s recent action to double tariffs on Canadian lumber imports. This would increase tariffs from 9% to 18% which threatens housing affordability in the US.

What Does This Mean for Lumber Prices in 2022?

In the early months of 2022, expect to see lumber prices increasing again. Back in May of this year, lumber prices peaked at $1,515 per thousand board feet. We did see a slight decline for a few weeks however, the price is starting to steadily increase once again.  

All in all, a change needs to be made to make lumber more accessible and affordable in order to keep up with the high housing demands. Use the Dibbs app to ensure you are getting the best price from suppliers on lumber and additional materials. Learn more about the features of Dibbs here.

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Industry Updates

Lumber Prices Soar Due To Shortage

While the housing industry is booming the lumber industry is suffering. Demand for lumber is increasing and the lack of supply is creating a huge increase in prices. The global pandemic of COVID – 19 forced lumber production to shut down back in April of 2020. As if that wasn’t enough, in addition to the shutdown there was an increase in tariffs that were added to the cost of lumber as well.

 

What Does This Mean for Homeowners or People Looking to Buy New Homes?

 

News19 shared an article that stated, “Lumber prices have more than quadrupled since the pandemic started,” With this information, some builders may suggest to homeowners that they hold off on the renovations they are looking to complete. Lumber is not only needed for the foundation of home construction but is also used in materials for cabinets, flooring, windows, and doors. This means that homeowners should expect to see an increase in prices for these projects as well. While there is no evidence that shows if this increase will stop any time soon the National Home Association of Builders provided the following facts:

 

  • The spikes in lumber prices have added nearly $36,000 to the average price of a new single-family home, and nearly $13,000 to the price of a multifamily home since April 2020

  • Lumber prices have increased nearly 50% since April which is the largest four-month gain since 1949.

  • The housing sector has been and still is a leader in the nation’s economic recovery. These high increases in prices can potentially hurt housing affordability for Americans.

 

We understand that not all home renovations can wait. Some projects just need to be done now. That is why we created Dibbs. The app allows you to post your job and your budget and let the professionals come to you. Don’t spend time and effort comparing prices running from store to store when you can get all you need right on your phone from Dibbs. Let the contractors come to you and compete for your business with their best price. Download the app today on iOS