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The recent rise of 3D printing technology has broken out into several different business sectors, many of which benefiting greatly from the reduced costs and time saved. In real estate specifically, 3D printing is promoting a new wave of practices that have not been done before. China saw the world’s first 3D-printed apartment building, which was 5 stories and 1,100 square meters. With that said, the opportunities that come with this technology could be groundbreaking in years to come.

Focusing on the planning and architectural stages of real estate, 3D printing allows for designers to accurately and efficiently create model buildings at a faster rate; something more commonly used in commercial real estate. Not only is this a faster way to render a precise model of a building still in the works, but it is also much more inexpensive. This 3D modeling also allows for virtual reality tours within the structures.

Like the aforementioned 3D-printed apartment building in China, entire houses are able to be created through this technology as well, and they are able to do so at an impressively fast rate. The 5-story building in Shanghai was constructed at one floor per day for just about $160,000 total. This has the potential to become the new standard in construction, though at the moment, the structure of the building is the only component produced via 3D printing. Walls, fixtures, and floorboards could be next however.

The fact that certain locations can be extremely difficult to build upon is another factor to take into consideration, and one that 3D printing can surprisingly help in. Within dense or remote land, moving and operating heavy machinery can prove troublesome, where as an industrial-grade 3D printer would take up much less room. With this strategy, construction costs are likely to drop substantially. This would make reconstruction in areas that may have been destroyed by natural disasters much faster and more efficient, for example.

As technologies continue to progress, so does every business that utilizes them. 3D printing is rapidly growing in popularity now that this automation has become more mainstream, and the real estate industry is just one of many reaping the many benefits that come with it.