Eindhoven University of Technology, in conjunction with two Dutch companies, recently created a massive concrete 3D printer which could provide the foundation for future construction of office buildings and homes around the world.
The Dutch firms working on this project are Heijmans and CyBe Construction, a company that aims to redefine construction methodologies, and both firms see the potential to reduce costs, waste and time in the construction of offices and homes in the coming decades.
“Although the technology still requires further testing and refinement, 3d concrete printing mainly provides the necessary opportunities," said Jurre van der Ven of Heijmans. "Our aim is to print a double curved concrete formwork, which we will fill with reinforced concrete and then use it to construct a bridge or a viaduct, because if an element is strong enough for such heavy constructions, it can be further developed and used for residential building. The tests we have recently carried out were successful.”CyBe Construction has been impressed with the results on their end.
“From the test on the first construction element it appears that the characteristic value of the concrete we printed (CyBe Mortar) is greater than previously calculated. We are extremely satisfied with this,”Berry Hendriks said. “From practical research and tests of this nature we see that the technology is becoming more widely applicable.”
It took 25 minutes to print their first structure, which demonstrates a the potential for future residential clients requiring more complexity in their designs. Traditional construction methods are certainly capable of creating similar structures but with 3D printing the costs, material, time to build and manual labor are all reduced.
According to Heijmans and CyBe, “Above all, we notice from this that the advantages of 3D concrete prints are becoming more visible. Ultimately, it will help us to facilitate the sector with this technology so that construction can be carried out faster, cheaper and at a higher quality.”