Quantifying the impact of concrete 3D printing on the construction supply chain

Ramani Ayyagari, Qian Chen, Borja García de Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


3D printing technology has demonstrated great potential in reducing the complexity of managing a construction supply chain (CSC). This paper investigates the consequences of incorporating 3D printing (3DP) in a traditional construction supply chain when using a two-story office building project in the UAE context as the basis for the investigation. The following steps were implemented: (1) developed frameworks and processes for the traditional construction supply chain (T-CSC) and the construction supply chain with 3D printing (3DP-CSC), (2) simulated the processes using the experts' experience data regarding the required effort in terms of construction resources to design and build a standard office building project, and (3) obtained and analyzed simulation results to compare the two CSCs. It was observed that 3DP-CSC experiences a 21% higher cumulative effort and a 6% reduction in the production rate to complete the project when compared to T-CSC. The simulation results should not be directly extrapolated or generalized for different CSCs in different sizes or types but should be considered an integral part of construction innovations. Additional simulations will be conducted in future work to demonstrate the performance of 3DP-CSC for projects with complex geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105032
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • 3D concrete printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Comparative analysis
  • Construction process simulation
  • Construction supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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