From 3D Printing to Automation: Construction is Becoming More Digital

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Robison Wells

Despite being behind the curve for adopting new technology, the construction industry is quickly trying to catch up with the rest of business as it expands into the digital realm. In just the last decade, construction has seen the advent of 3D modeling and realistic architectural visualization software, the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality on a massive scale, 3D printing, automation, machine learning, BIM and the Internet of Things (IoT). These things haven’t always been greeted warmly by either workers or company owners, but they are making an inexorable creep into the everyday lives of those in the construction world.

And for good reason, too, because these technologies reduce construction and prefabrication costs, improve custom scalability, improve materials management, streamline outdated processes, and make workers more efficient.

However, while in the future, it is believed that digital jobs may replace traditional ones, there will still be plenty of jobs. The Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz wrote, “robots don’t get the coronavirus and don’t need to be socially distanced.” In his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the historian Yuval Noah Harari states that “a new job replaces each lost job.”

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