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The world of windows is undergoing a fascinating transformation. Architects, builders, remodelers, and designers are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, not just in terms of functionality but also in aesthetics and integration with the overall design vision.  

To explore this exciting intersection of trends, we asked Pella Windows and Doors and Andersen Window and Doors to share their perspectives on the hottest trends in window technology for 2024, delve into the possibilities unlocked by 3D printing and discuss the practical considerations for incorporating this technology into your next project.

What are the biggest advantages and challenges you see with using 3D printing for windows?

Andersen: One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing is customizability and speed. Windows and doors in the past were mostly standard, within certain parameters. With the trend of customizing and personalizing everything we purchase; windows and doors aren’t immune. With 3D printing, we could potentially customize parts and features of a window even faster.  

The challenge we see with 3D printing is scalability is how much is produced is limited to how many of the same parts can be printed at once. For this reason, 3D printing isn’t necessarily a replacement for traditional manufacturing; it’s more of a supplement. 

 

Photo credit: Andersen

Do you foresee 3D printing playing a more significant role in window manufacturing in the future?

Pella: Absolutely — the future is just beginning in this space. Manufacturers will need to consider whether the application is within the actual manufacturing of the product or how the product interfaces with the 3D printing of homes.  

Andersen: We see advantages in 3D printing for window manufacturing. 3D printing has fantastic implications within the manufacturing facility, and there could be great benefit to using the technology in the field. For example, printing on demand for parts that address a specific concern, old hardware that has been retired and other low volume parts that enable us to free up space or eliminate the need for storage. 

 

Photo credit: Pella

Are you currently using 3D printing technology in your window manufacturing process?

Andersen: Yes, we utilize 3D printing in our processes, including, for example, in research and development, as well as using it for things like printing certain parts and components. While much of our manufacturing processes are proprietary, we are always evaluating our technology stack and how we incorporate the latest advancements like 3D printing into our processes to drive efficiency, enhance quality and/or improve safety and the wellbeing of our employees.  

 

Photo credit: Anderson

What emerging technologies do you think will have the biggest impact on windows in the next 5-10 years?

Pella: Augmented reality and virtual reality, and the mainstream consumer response to that technology, will shape some fundamental questions about what windows and doors are within that space and within support of that space.  

AI integration into manufacturing data management, virtual manufacturing and more broadly day-to-day living will have fundamental shifts and opportunities within the window and door market. Scalable building answers to pressures within the industry such as SIPs, modular on-site construction and 3D building, could be fundamental shifts in product and project needs.
 

Andersen: We’re always looking at the latest technologies and thinking about how they can be applied to our business to support growth. We have our eyes on metal 3D printing, pellet fed big area additive manufacturing (BAAM) printers, machine technologies that produce isotropic parts and even rapidly emerging technology like AI.  

We also believe the electrification of products can expand what windows and doors can be. With the opportunity for energy efficiency improvements only able incrementally improve, we envision the future of windows is to develop products that go beyond energy efficiency to energy generation. 

 

Photo credit: Pella

The future of window design is brimming with exciting possibilities. As 3D printing technology and AI continues to evolve and become more accessible, we can expect to see even more innovative and personalized window solutions emerge. 

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Webinar: Understanding Window, Door & Skylight Certification

The Understanding Window, Door & Skylight Certification webinar is designed to help architects and remodelers understand the benefits of window, door and skylight certification and how certified products can enhance their projects.

Register Now

Find Manufacturers

Find window, door, and skylight manufacturers. 

Find Manufacturers