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The market for 3D printing in construction continues to grow globally, and particularly in Europe, where Swedish startup ConcretePrint (KonkretPrint AB) unveiled the country’s first 3D printed house. The young company completed the foundation building on an industrial property in Tumba, Sweden, in June 2021. The project was carried out with financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency.
The 24 square meter 3D printed building was designed to fit in a compact living space, kitchen area, bedroom and bathroom. The walls of the house were 3D printed with the robotic 3D printing technology from ConcretePrint, which in its current version has a construction volume of 9 x 4.2 x 2.5 meters. (ConcretePrint states that this system is actually a prototype for an upcoming printer that will have an even larger capacity of 20 x 15 x 10 meters.)
The house has 50 mm wide double walls that integrate a gap for insulation as well as for electrical and plumbing systems. In total, it took 28 hours (over 13 days) to build the walls and consumed approximately $ 3,400 in material. In terms of manpower, the project required the attendance of only four people per day, including students from the local vocational school. Other critical functions for the home, such as windows, doors, and furniture, are reportedly being supplied by other 3D printing companies. The roof and foundation are made conventionally.
The printed house is part of a 2.7 million SEK (~ $ 300,000 US) project called “3D Printing for an Energy and Resource Efficient Construction Process” led by ConcretePrint in collaboration with concrete manufacturer Betongindustri. The project, supported by the Swedish Energy Agency, also brings in partners, including the municipality of Botkyrka, EPS Cement, JM, Peab, Tyresö Concrete and Construction, Arbrå Concrete, Deventus AB, BoWilles Byggmaskiner and the Italian concrete pump company Maltech.
The Swedish Energy Agency commented on the construction project with the words: “In view of the fact that the project is energetically relevant and can contribute to lower material consumption through more efficient construction of concrete buildings, [less] Transport and shorter construction time, the project has a good and credible player constellation and is seen as a contribution to the development and rationalization of an industry that is recognized as conservative. “
In fact, the construction industry has a massive impact on the environment as it not only contributes to global CO2 emissions, but also uses enormous amounts of material and water. 3D printing is just one way that innovators in the construction industry are hoping to change the construction industry for the better by minimizing material usage and waste, and reducing the need for transport emissions by building structures on-site.