World's Largest 3D Printed Building Develop with Real Concrete

World's Largest 3D Printed Building Develop with Real Concrete - D.fab could bring the cost down to €60 - 90 ($ 67-101) for the same volume Read More

World's Largest 3D Printed Building Develop with Real Concrete

World's Largest 3D Printed Building Develop with Real Concrete

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According to 3DPrint.com, a collaborative effort between a construction materials firm and an additive manufacturing automation provider has resulted in the world's largest 3D printed building with real concrete.

We've been covering 3D printing news and how it's now being utilized with a variety of materials, including steel. When it comes to building, however, the "ink" utilized is often a proprietary dry mix of mortar materials, which not only restricts the technology's adoption but also raises building construction costs.

CEMEX, a Mexican company that provides materials for conventional building construction, collaborated with Construction of Buildings on Demand (COBOD), a 3D printing technology company based in Denmark, to address the problem. Their solution reduces the proprietary ink in 3D printing of buildings to a mere one percent of the cement mixture, making it highly scalable, 3DPrint reported.

Special mixtures have been employed in previous attempts at 3D concrete constructions to solve the sluggish drying of conventional concrete during the construction process. This is a significant challenge since wet concrete does not have the same load-bearing capability as dry concrete and hence cannot sustain the building. The solution developed by CEMEX and COBOD is D.fab, a novel cement mix that has a specific addition that permits the concrete to be poured while another additive added during the printing process speeds up the curing process.

Henrik Lund-Nielsen, COBOD's creator and General Manager, stated in a statement from 3DPrint that the technology allowed for the use of locally obtained materials in the building. Although this does not address the concerns about carbon emissions related to the use of concrete, it does reduce the carbon footprint associated with the procurement of building materials.

An added advantage is the drastic reduction in the costs of construction. While dry mix mortars used for 3D printing cost €700-900 ($791-1,018) per cubic meter of construction, using D.fab could bring the cost down to €60 - 90 ($ 67-101) for the same volume. In addition to this, further savings could be made with the reduced time needed for construction. 

The team showed its method by constructing a 2,100 square foot (190 square meters) house in Muscat, Oman's capital city. The home was 3D printed in two stages, with D.fab additives obtained from Europe. A local crew was instructed on the printing process during the first step, and they subsequently completed the second stage of printing fully on their own, according to 3DPrint.com.

Together, the entire project took just five days to complete while dropping the material cost to €1,600 ($1,810) as compared to the €20,000 ($22,627) it would have cost using the regular proprietary dry mixes used in 3D printing.

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