Success Factors in the Implementation of 3D Printing Technology in Construction Industry
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The construction sector is believed to be the vital part of the economy all over the world. At the same time, it is suffering from low productivity as compared to other sectors. The implementation of radical innovations is regarded as a solution to make construction sector more resource efficient, competitive and sustainable. The 3D printing technology is considered as radical innovation for large construction projects, to remarkably reduce the environmental impacts and economic costs. The construction sector has been challenging to the new innovations because of its complex and fragmented nature. So, it is indispensable to investigate the enablers and barriers to the innovation in the construction industry. 3D printing technology will face almost the same barriers and enablers as well. So, the success factors for implementation of 3D printing technology in construction sector are necessary to be probed for its wide use in construction industry. The research, to find the success factors, was conducted in two phases. First phase consist of the thorough literature review of the barriers and enablers to the innovations in construction industry. These barriers and enablers are mapped for 3D printing technology in the construction sector as well. In the second phase of the research, a 3D printing survey was conducted among EU and Norwegian construction companies. The purpose of the survey was to collect the data about experiences and expectations from 3D printing technology in construction sector. In next step, survey results were discussed in relevance to the identified enablers and barriers to innovation in literature review. At the end, success factors were suggested for the successful implementation of 3D printing technology in the construction sector.The research work suggests that the top barriers to the implementation of 3D printing are conservatism in construction industry, multiple stakeholders lack in cooperation to implement innovation and risk associated with adopting new technology. The profitability and efficiency or cost reduction are the best innovation enablers. The majority of the construction companies are not involved in 3D printing technology at the moment. The study also shows that 3D printing technology will be cost efficient and increase the productivity of the construction industry. The large companies are the potential users of this technology. The newly introduced 3D printing technology can be successfully implemented in construction industry, provided the construction companies follow the findings of this thesis.