Live Prints & Top 10 Automation Firms from World of Concrete 2023

This year World of Concrete hosted many familiar 3DCP faces and some new teams too! I got interviews with RIC, Sika, Spacecrete, Geopolymer International, Cobod, Arc3D, Renca, Quickcrete, Ventures Equipment, and Mapei! I’ll try to give a little overview of what each had to share from the event. You can watch the interviews at the bottom of the article.

RIC was the highlight of the show with 2 printers on display and one in action. The robotic arm is on a mobile lift which gives it a tremendous Z-axis (height)  reach capability. They demonstrated printing quickcrete material at the event live. This is always a challenging feat, the law of engineering says that once you have an audience things will inevitably fail, despite this RIC managed to succeed both printing attempts on day 2 and 3 of the show.

Sika was also printing on a 3D Potter machine, you may recall when I visited their HQ/ Manufacturing facility last month. They were primarily demonstrating their unique material which can be deposited back in the hopper after being printed within a 15ish minute time frame. 

Spacecrete had a unique material solution, an admixture that when combined with concrete drastically increases it’s buildability. The CEO gave a demonstration mixing it live at his booth. They also had multiple iterations of concrete printing extruders. 

Geopolymer International brought their mixer pump to the show along with a huge variety of objects which are made with materials including the silica based geopolymer they love to use. This includes ceramics, hemp, asphalt, foam-crete, and rubbery materials. 

Cobod did not bring their printer this year but they did have an educational seminar which they allowed me to sit through. I missed the first half but the parts I saw were quite a good overview of the technology including some common pitfalls typical in any construction site like covering materials with a tarp if they are stored in a pile under a tree. Some of these things seem obvious to experts but many people in the 3DCP industry come from fields other than construction so educating these clients becomes a partial responsibility of the printer manufacturer.

ARC 3D is a new company on the scene of 3DCP, they brought a small scale model of what their truck mounted printer would look like on a job site. They also had some footage from the testing of their own extruder head. I am eager to see what their product looks like when it comes to fruition as they are taking a unique approach. They mentioned that their clients will not be restricted to a particular material and they are working on being able to work with local materials. 

Renca works closely with Geopolymer International and is a supplier of the geopolymer material for them. Geopolymer International will be starting a house project soon using a red version of the Renca material.

Quickcrete was in attendance and I got a quick interview with them, you may recall their material was used at the Houston 3D printed house project. Their material was also used at the RIC exhibit this year. They are very excited about the 3D printed construction industry. 

Ventures Equipment had a couple new systems for 3DCP a batch mixer with a scale for measuring your concrete ingredients. This will be a critical step for ultimately automating the mixing system. In the past Ventures Equipment did a sponsorship deal with my channel but that has since ended many months ago. I agreed to the sponsorship deal in the first place because they showed dedication to developing 3DCP mixing tech and that is still the case. This year their 3DCP offering is better than last year and I expect next years will improve too.

Maipei is the company Black Buffalo works with for their 3D printed mortar that was used on the recent Alquist project for Habitat in Virginia. This year they successfully achieved AC509 certification which was a very lengthy and expensive process. Now they are ready to hit the market with their certified material. They claim it is the first AC 509 certified material on the market and I believe that to be the case, other companies which have achieved this certification have yet to sell their material on the open market. 

There were a few more groups we’ve seen on my youtube channel that I met at the event and didn’t get the chance to film including R-Squared, Black Buffalo, Citizen Robotics & Matthew Carli. I also saw Homes Now & Heidelberg who I hope to feature on the channel in the near future. WOC 2023 was a great event and hopefully there will be even more automation there next year! 

Shoutout to the Automation Nation member I met at the event! As the community supporting my independent journalism with $10/month grows, I will be able to provide even better coverage of this ever rapidly developing industry of construction automation. Consider signing up at and get access to my private list of 101 construction 3D printer manufacturers along with a map of which country they are from and virtual 360 tours of 3D printed houses around the world.

Rebuild 3DCP in Poland

Poland has been in the spotlight recently due to its proximity to conflict areas. By total coincidence, in close time proximity to when stray missiles hit Polish land I was scheduled to speak with the CEO of Rebuild 3DCP, Witold on the Automate Construction podcast. Rebuild is the company responsible for printing the first house in Poland on site.

You can listen to the podcast in its entirety for yourself at the link below. I’ll try to summarize what we discussed in this article. Currently Rebuild as a company is focused on the testing and measuring of its material parameters/ structural integrity. In order to implement this technology and construction at a large scale you have to possess a very clear understanding of the numbers that engineers can use to sign off on a building, ensuring that according to their calculations, it will stand. Having these calculations can be critical to permitting.

The first step for them was just getting the printer working and demonstrating the technology. There’s a huge difference between start ups before and after that point, before you actually get to the printing part, people have a gilded view, lacking full understanding of what’s required for the process, and the current state of the technology, which is not yet quite fully automated. In fact, there’s a long way to go towards full automation.

Rebuild has reached the point where the machine runs but the material needs to be dialed in. To my knowledge they are the only group implementing this technology in Poland, so they are now the leading experts of 3-D printed concrete in Poland. This means all of the trailblazing is up to them. It’s a big responsibility that will be the first step towards increased construction automation in their country, something I believe will be appreciated by many for years to come.

Witold came across this technology at his university where he was reviewing some research on 3d printed concrete technology. By my measure, there are 101 different concrete printer manufactures (the full list is available for automation nation members) obviously, they didn’t all come up with the idea originally. Many of them claim to and I believe it’s possible multiple could be telling the truth 3d printing has been around for a long time so it’s feasible that multiple people, even many people might independently come up with the idea to 3d print houses on their own. I would even venture to argue that it’s a natural consideration which comes to mind when you see a printer in action.

Witold specifically mentions it wasn’t his idea, but when they saw the research paper him and his team immediately saw that there were improvements they could implement for this technology. Knowing they could iterate beyond the current state of the market, they jumped in and have been contributing to improving this technology ever since spearheading the efforts in their country.

Concrete isn’t the only thing Rebuild seeks to automate, they also want to automate the reinforcement methods of the concrete. Taking another step towards the ultimate goal of automation. Most 3d printed construction jobs require a minimum of two people, often three or four people.

In Poland start ups like rebuild have access to grant funding to get started. They got their first round of grant funding at $200,000 then an additional round of $1 million converted to US according to Witold. 

We talked quite a bit about materials. The rebuild team is specialized in mechanical engineering so that’s one of the reasons materials is tricky, also there is such a limited demand for 3d Print Concrete in Poland. The material is not readily available and quite expensive as well. The material they’re currently using  has a three month warranty from the manufacture, and should last around six months, after about a year, it may not be good for use anymore.

It was great learning more about Witlolds experience founding his startup Rebuild in Poland. I can’t wait to see what they will bring to the table in coming years in the industry of construction automation.

10,000 Sqft 3D Printed Building

Printed Farms is at it again in Wellington Florida, you may recall the printed garage they built which I filmed on site very early on. Since then they printed a house in Tallahassee as well which I have also filmed extensively with the contractor from the job, precision builders.

Now Printed Farms is onto their most ambitious projects yet with an equestrian facility that will have over 10,000 sqft under the roof. The massive gantry printer they use will be moved many times throughout the project and the agricultural facility consists of multiple buildings that horse owners would be familiar with.

The CEO of Printed Farms Jim actually got his start in the equestrian industry, bringing faster more competitive horses from Europe over to the USA. I had Jim on the Automate Construction Podcast to discuss the vision behind Printed Farms and also a bit about his early career dealing with horses.

Visiting this new massive project of theirs on site during the print was one of the most impressive moments thus far in my construction tech journalism career due to the sheer scale of the project. One section already has 13ft printed walls and the day I was there they were at about eye level on the second section. We ran into Adrian who has been their mixer pump operator since the very beginning. Working with new tech is hard but they are getting quite good at it.

Even if you have a perfect team there are still so many things that can delay a construction project. In this case, Printed Farms likes to use very fresh material likely due to the humidity in Florida but during the hurricanes there was some supply issue and they couldn’t get new material as fast as they would have liked. It isn’t quite readily available at the local hardware/ construction supplies store. Whenever you are dealing with uncommon tech and materials there can be a higher risk of delays if you don’t have a diverse range of supplier options. As the industry grows we can imagine printable materials being produced by every major batch plant in the country but we’ve got quite a way to go.

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Printing Metal with Lasers

Meltio 3D is a Spanish startup developing metal printing extruder heads used around the world. Their system uses lasers to melt the inconel or other materials into a very dense custom formed part not limited by traditional casting or forging restrictions. This technology is opening up new design opportunities to make parts lighter and less wasteful.

Recently I got to have their CEO Angel Llavero López de Villalta on the Automate Construction Podcast to discuss their technology.

I first heard about Meltio when I happened to run into the CEO of One-Off Robotics in Chattanooga Tennessee while having lunch with the CEO of Branch Technology at a local sandwich shop. That same afternoon I stopped by One-Off Robotics and got a tour of their facility. I even saw them printing some metal bottle openers, you can check out that video below.

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Autonomously Constructed Homes For Sale by Diamond Age

Diamond Age wants to automate construction and they have been doing a pretty solid job so far! Earlier this year they announced 27 tools which will be utilized by an on site construction gantry system. So far 8/27 tools have been developed in a beta stage including a detachable concrete printing extruder head.

This all sounds great but more impressively they recently listed some of their printed homes for sale starting around $275,000 which is a moderate price in Eloy, Az where the median home price is $255,000.

They have a wide range available, it’s pretty cool to see this many printed homes flying under the radar. You can check them out for yourself here.

The Diamond Age CTO is an ex-Tesla employee who has a penchant for automated manufacturing. I was lucky enough to get him on my podcast and discuss some of their vision. The approach they are taking towards automation fantastic because they are trying to automate a huge chunk of the work vs some other groups which just print walls. Hopefully as the industry progresses we continue to see teams increasing the automation on their job sites and a larger percent of the labor is completed by machines instead of human labor.

If you are curious what the machine is supposed to look like here is a shorter youtube video I put together from the limited footage Diamond Age has shared online of their construction automation intentions.

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Texas Startup Prints Regular Concrete

Andrey Rudenko is back! The same man who brought you the famous 3D printed castle pictured below has teamed up with Timothy Lankau, CEO of Hive 3D in Texas to print a residential structure utilizing standard portland cement from the local store.

The ability to use a standard cement mix without having to ship in expensive experimental materials often from overseas unlocked huge savings in comparison to the $600-1200 a ton some groups pay to get material to use all said and done after shipping.

The machine they used has a smaller layer height than some of the other printers we have seen used to construct homes from 3d printed mortar. This allows them to get really intricate designs in the wall which you can see in the thumbnail image of the video below.

Not only did I get to tour their 3,150 sqft 3d printed house in Texas right after it was printed, I also got to sit down with the hive CEO and CTO in my podcast studio over a few Stellas to discuss what got them interested in 3d printed construction, how they met Andrey, and how they plan on revolutionizing the construction industry in the future. Have a listen for yourself below!

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Emergent 3D Printed First Home in CA, How Much Did It Cost?

Everyone knows California is one of the most challenging markets for construction. The rules are strict, taxes are high and everything is wildly expensive. A quick google search will tell you the average construction cost in CA is $400-$600 a sqft in 2022 (modular coming in at $200-$300).

3D printed construction startup Emergent 3D was recently the first to print a permitted building in California. They used a Cobod printer and unlike some other groups without construction experience they are a spin-off from a General Contracting company Don Ajamian runs. Matthew Gile is the founder of Emergent and Don Ajaimian is the CEO, I had them both on my podcast. If you have a listen, note the link to part 2 in the description.

(this is a long article it continues below the video)

I also got to witness the first print day on their second building under construction. They were extremely transparent and had no issues with me filming any part of the project which is highly appreciated! When it comes to innovation, things aren’t always pretty. Part of new technologies is working out the bugs and quirks, 3DCP is certainly not immune to these technological & mechanical hiccups. Emergent handled everything very smoothly, the groups you need to worry about are the ones that are too afraid to let you watch a print!

Let’s talk about the price of a 3D printed house. How much does it really cost to 3D print a home? That answer is going to vary wildly in different regions because that is the nature of construction. You will also find many groups who bend the truth or only share the parts which are convenient (also often the nature of construction).

I believe Don Ajamian is among the few accurately reporting on their cost to 3D print buildings in California. This can be credited to his construction experience and integrity. In a linkedin post linked below Don says Quote-“When I recently mentioned to someone that the cost to build their home would be around $350/SF, their response surprised me and once again revealed the major confusion, misinformation, and variability in this discussion. The response I received was that they heard that they can get their home built for ‘$40 to $60 per square foot’. When I pressed them on this number, they insisted that this information was correct.
Needless to say, I won’t be building their home, but I am equally confident that their 1,200 square foot house will ultimately cost them far more than $72,000.”-End Quote.

So whats with the discrepancy? Later in the post Don mentions the following Quote-“What about scope? When a contractor quotes a cost per square foot, are they including the cost of the plans? Permits? Landscaping? Fencing? Appliances? These items alone can add $60/SF or more to the cost of building the house, but these items aren’t always included in the “off-the-cuff” cost per square foot conversation.”-End Quote.

2021 and 2022 marked a time when people conducted very little due diligence in many areas. This is evident in cases like the FTX scandal or even the housing market where some buyers who paid over ask are now underwater on loans. Let’s keep 3DCP off that list by fostering truthfulness and giving credit where credit is due for the groups that don’t use deceptive tactics to mask the realities of the industry. How can you make sure you don’t get fooled? I hope this article can help, if you watch the print day you will see how they overcame issues in full transparency. If you listen to the podcast you will hear about how Matthew and Don built Emergent 3D from the ground up, and if you read the Linkedin post from Don at the link you will understand more closely the true cost of 3D printed construction in California.

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Icon Beginning Largest 3DCP Housing Community With Lennar

Icon and Lennar just announced they are moving forward with the largest community of 3D printed homes on the planet! The homes in Georgetown north of Austin, Tx will start around $400k.

Unlike Icons other homes these feature substantial interior printed walls. Each one will range from 1,574 to 2,112 sqft.

I am in touch with Icons PR team and hope to get some on the ground coverage of these projects soon. Check out how many printers they have in action! I count 5 in that picture alone. For years we have speculated on how economies of scale will change the 3DCP process and soon Icon will have the answer!

It’s great to see innovative companies still implementing construction technologies through a downturn in real estate and increasing mortgage rates in the USA. As the construction industry becomes more competitive, the race of innovation is on to create a solution which simultaneously solves housing availability and labor force challenges.

Want to learn more about 3D printed construction? Check out my podcast including an episode with Icon CEO Jason Ballard.

Search the “Automate Construction Podcast” on any platform or watch the interview footage on the Automate Construction Podcast Youtube Channel:

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How long does it take to 3D print a house?

General Construction Stats & Sources

9/10 cost overrun

Over 3 years only 10% came within 10% of budget

Large projects 20% longer to finish, Mckinsey study shows construction productivity declining since the 90’s

Poor communication leads to 1/3rd issues

Productivity changes could save 1.63 trillion/ year



Habitat virginia 1

Habitat virginia 2

Habitat virginia 3

Handover ceremony

Virginia alquist done print

Virginia alquist roof

Virginia alquist 3

SQ4D Post Print Complete

3D Printed Concrete Recipe

Written by Howard Stone

We have now seen many 3D architectural printing projects and one thing that many of them have in common is the cement based mix they print with.
There are many materials that can be used in 3D printing but Portland cement is an easily engineered common product available world wide.

So, just for a quick rewind, what is Cement and where did it come from and what is its future in the world of 3D printing.

Joseph Aspdin of Leeds England developed the first Cement mix in the early eighteen hundreds by burning powdered limestone and clay in his kitchen stove. He called it Portland Cement because it resembled the building stone from the nearby Isle of Portland.

Joseph found that limestone, which contained alumina and silica, when mixed with clay, baked and crushed, formed a powder so fine it could pass through a sieve that could hold water.

Today’s Portland Cement dust is so fine that 1 pound contains around 150 billion grains, and that according to the US Geological Survey, in 2020, globally, over 4 trillion metric tons of cement were produced.
That is 600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains, more or less…

Although the terms cement and concrete are often used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is usually a mixture of cement, aggregates and water.

Aggregates are very important to the mix and although they are most commonly inert fillers such as sand and rock, the different properties of aggregates have a large impact on the strength, durability, workability, and economy of concrete; and it’s those different properties of that allow mix designers the flexibility to meet a wide range of construction requirements.

There are many reasons to use aggregates but perhaps the biggest reason is cost. The cost of cement is usually seven or eight times more than sand or stone and while cement is always necessary, the strength is determined by the use of aggregates which make up to 70-85% of the mass of concrete.

‘Aggregate’ refers to any particulate material. This includes gravel, crushed stone, sand, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic products and many others. Aggregates also help control thermal and elastic properties, dimensional stability and volume stability, manage shrinkage levels and help to prevent cracking.

Aggregates can be natural, manufactured or recycled materials.
General construction aggregates generally fall into two categories.
Fine aggregates consist of particles that can pass through a 3/8-inch, or about a 10mm sieve. Coarse aggregates are particles larger than 0.19 inch, but generally range between 3/8 and 1.5 inches or 40mm. in size.
Silica fume, for instance, also known as microsilica, is an ultrafine aggregate and consists of spherical particles with an average particle diameter of 150 nm. Zeolite, pumice, crushed quartz powder and fly ash can be made into such very small particles. By comparison, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick and red blood cells are about 10,000 nanometers across.

The Hard Facts…
What does M -20 M -15 M -20 mean with respect to concrete?
The ‘M’ describes the mix design while the strength digits represent compressive strength in N/mm2. ( 1 N/mm2 = 1 MPA = 1000 kPa )
The ratio of cement / sand / aggregate = strength.
M10 Grade of Concrete with a ratio of 1:3:6 = 10 MPa or 1450 psi
M15 Grade of Concrete with a ratio of 1:2:4 = 15 MPa or 2175 psi
M20 Grade of Concrete with a ratio of 1:1.5:3 = 20 MPa or 2900 psi

M5, M10, and M15 grades of concrete are generally used as bedding concrete below columns and as footings.
M20 through M35 grade concrete is generally used in the construction of slabs, beams, columns, footings, etc.

M40, and M45, are used for the construction of commercial structures, pre-stressed concrete members, runways, concrete roads, it is also used for pressured concrete girders, columns, and beams.

Superplasticisers are commonly used to improve the workability and to enhance the compaction of concrete for increased density and will improve the surface finish of most any concrete product. Also known as high range water reducers, plastersizers enable the production of concrete with approximately 15% – 30% less water content.

On a Lighter note…
Aerated concrete is made by introducing air into a cement slurry so that a cellular structure is formed. While aerated or foam concrete do not have the strength of regular concrete, they do have the beneficial properties of heat preservation, heat insulation, and sound absorption. Though they are called concrete, they are not a true concrete by definition.

Foam concrete as opposed to aerated concrete has a uniform closed-cell structure which allows for more predictable engineering outcomes.
Usually it is prepared by introducing foaming agents such as hydrogen peroxide and plant surfactants similar to those found in many common dishwashing detergents. Foamed concrete is free-flowing and can be placed without vibration or compaction. It is lightweight, has low thermal conductivity and good sound insulation properties which are not available in ordinary concrete. Depending on its density, up to 80% of the volume of a typical aerated/foamed block is air. The low density also makes for lower structural compression strength which is on average about half of the compressive strength of regular concrete or, 8N/mm2 / 8000 kpa / 1,200 psi.

Foam stabilizers help maintain density, thermal conductivity, flexural and compressive strength compared to a foamed mix without stabilizer due to an improvement of pore structure.
Foam stabilizer is generally made with calcium stearate and alum. Preparation is simple, performance is excellent and it is friendly to the environment.

Looking to the Future:

Contemporary architecture is moving on from the box and has embraced the curve which gives many modern structures their sleek and futuristic appearance. This is largely thanks to the integration of innovative 3D design and cutting-edge 3D production methods.

With more advanced technologies, it is possible to create more complex geometries without compromising quality and performance. 3D printing in construction shows great promise, being able to create practically any curved shape through computer controlled processes.

Curved forms are fluidic, which allow them to blend into natural landscapes. Some of the most striking designs in contemporary architecture that utilize 3D technologies to bring these modern designs to life. But even before there was computer-aided design, CNC manufacturing and 3D printing, the curved form could be found throughout architectural history. From the dawn of time to the information age, many cultures have developed curved architecture, because of the strength and flexibility it offered. In random fact, testing by SPS found loads as high as +300 lbs can be pressed upon standard, large eggs because their form evenly dissipates pressure.

Arches, Domes and Innovation
Early examples of the curved form include structures of historical significance like the Marcello theater built in 13 BC, the Pantheon and the Roman Colosseum. Developing the arch into a dome was perhaps the greatest achievement for the renaissance builders and the first major structure was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi for the Florence Cathedral. Using modern mathematics and physics, and with no scaffolding, he constructed a beautiful dome with four million bricks that still stand to this day.

3D printing has a large part to play in our future with the integration of unibody type construction in which walls and roof are manufactured as one. While roof on frame used to be the go-to construction of choice, unibody constructs are gaining ground and will no doubt be more prevalent in the future.

Alexey Ostanin СЕО of the Company Printed Dome which is one of the early producers of 3D printed structures has recently teamed up with Howard Stone of the 3DOHM to produce affordable cyclone resistant homes throughout the pacific. Foamed concrete will play a significant role in this mass 3D printing project because of the economy, existent engineering and the basic materials that make up foamed concrete which are commonly available worldwide. This largely humanitarian project promises to be significant for Pasifika Peoples of those island nations most strongly affected by climate change.

Open Source Printing Recipe – Cement 20% ~ 35%; Mineral admixture 18% ~ 35%; Fiber 0.08% ~ 2.8%; Fine aggregate 15% ~ 40%; Foaming agent 0.2% ~ 1.0%; Foam stabilizer 0.15% ~ 2.0%; Superplasticizer 0.05% ~ 0.15%; Temperature control shrinkage reducing agent 1.5% ~ 3.5%

50 3D Printed Houses & Buildings

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Printed house per dayHouse NameLocationPrinterOperatorVideo
1Africa t3 HouseAngolaCobodPower 2 Build
2House ZeroaustinICON
4Project Milestonethe NetherlandsWeber beamix
5First 2 Story house in indiaIndiaL&T
6Demo HousepatchogueSQ4D
7SXSW 2018 HouseaustinICON
8holstbroDenmarkCobod3DCP Group
9printed roofChinaAICT
10first printed houseitalyD-ShapeEnrico Dini
11most innovativeBeckum GermanyCobodPeri
12protodomnaturaeco corp
13Laundry RoomBoca ChicaApis Cor
14Alquist first houseRichmondcobodalquist
15winsun villa 2shanghaiWinsun
16winsun mansionshanghaiWinsun
17Turi, YogyajartaindonesiaAutoconz
18winsun villa 3shanghaiwinsun
19Emerging Objects Mud hutcoloradoEmerging Object
20winsun workforce housingshanghaiwinsunwinsun
21Icon east 17thAustinIconIcon
22habitat williamsburgwillaimsburgcobodalquist
23winsun smooth hutshanghai
24meet villaSharjah
25Guard HouseLa HavreCybe
26Printed Domerussiaprinted dome
27Floating HousepragueScoolpt
28Serendix SphereJapanSerendix
29HISIS HouseSouth KoreaHISIS/ BB
30CastleAmericaAndey Rudenko
31Demo unitUtahMudbots
32Yellow HouseRussiaApis Cor
33InnovaHouse+ 3D Home ConstructionBrazilInnovaHouse+ 3D Home Construction
342/4 east 17thaustinICON
35Aizawa GlampingJapanCybe
36thnking huts schoolMadagascarcobod14 trees
37schoolMalawiCobod14 trees
38Winsun Villa 4Shanghai
39Arup CLS ArchettiMilanCybe
40Project YhnovaFranceU Nantes
41AMT HouseRussiaAMTCobod
42Largest Printed Building AfricaAngolaPower 2 Build
43Cat HeadRussiaCat Head
44Beijing HomeBeijing
45New StoryMexicoIcon
46Mars HouseChinaGuanli
47Project GaiaItallyWasp
48Demo UnitSwedenConcrete Print
49Dior Pop UpDubaiWasp
50Tallest Printed BuildingQatarSaint Gobain Weber Beamix


Written By Uyanwune, Ordinakachukwu

ABSTRACT – 3D printed buildings is the future the construction industry. The
current world population is about 8.0 billion as of 2022 according to the most
recent United Nations estimates . More people means more housing. 3D printed building is here as a potential problem solver, it is cost-effectiveness (cheaper construction), faster Construction, higher material efficiency, reduced Labor and reduces waste and carbon dioxide emissions, among other benefits one of its biggest is it saves time. 3D printed buildings is already an ongoing project in different parts of the world, it’s being used in Austin, Texas to house homeless people, to build an entire community in Mexico, in Netherland and in India, in Malawi ,in Angola and many other countries.


In 2021, the world’s first 3D printed school was built Salima district of Malawi in
Africa. This project was carried out by a company called 14Trees. 14Trees is a
joint venture between Holcim and CDC Group which is focused on building
affordable houses, schools and social infrastructures in Africa. 14Trees benefits
from the expertise of Holcim’s R&D Centre, the world’s leading building materials research Centre, to accelerate the use of environmentally friendly solutions such as Holcim earth brick Durabric and 3D printing. They were able to print the walls of the school in 18 hours. This followed its first 3D-printed prototype house in Lilongwe, Malawi – built with precision in less than 12 hours, which significantly reduces the four days spent building a home with conventional building practices. The children officially began learning in the school in June, 2021. For these two projects the 14Trees used a BOD2 printer from Cobod. Cobod is owned by Henrik Lund-Nielsen a Danish business executive and serial-entrepreneur, they currently one of the top suppliers of 3D construction printers. COBOD’s robotic construction 3D printers have previously been deployed for several high-profile 3D printing projects, including the first 3D printed commercial apartment building in Germany, and the first “record-tall” 10-meter concrete wind turbine tower base alongside LafargeHolcim and GE Renewable Energy. 14Trees aims to accelerate the production and commercialization of environmentally-friendly, affordable construction solutions in Africa. They are partners with Habitat for humanity, LafargeHolcim, CDC investment works in attainment of their goal. They are all committed to build for the home and for the people. They have also moved this technology across the broader region with projects already in the pipeline in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Tenbite Ermias, Managing Director, Africa, at CDC said: “The rollout of 14Trees’ world-class, cutting-edge technology is going to have a massive developmental impact on Malawi and the other region of Africa. It is a wonderful example of how we are investing in businesses that can support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”


3d as the future is spreading throughout the earth, and rapidly moving to the four corners of Africa. Moving over to Madagascar, which is also one of the first
countries to imbibe this great discovery and move toward the advance of this

In Madagascar a Non-profit organization Thinking Huts has partnered with
architectural design agency Studio Mortazavi to create the world’s first 3D-printed school on the campus of a university in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.
This also shows us that this technology is not just creating better houses in lesser time , with fewer resources and no emission, but it’s also creating job opportunities and giving rise for new organizations. In Africa’s project it was overseen by a company called 14Trees but this is overseen by Thinking huts, and there primary
aim is to fix the problem of poor infrastructures in the educational sector, which many countries over look and in return it reduces the chances of children getting good education. Madagascar is the first country Thinking Huts has worked with in building a 3d printed school, the technology that was used was created Using technology developed by Finnish company Hyperion Robotics, As a nonprofit organization focused on their goal, the company decided to teach some citizens of Madagascar how to build infrastructures using a 3d printer, As it was recorded the school was built in just three weeks and the other structures needed for the completion of the building were all said to have been locally provided, example A roof made from galvanised metal covered with native grass will help the buildings blend into their surroundings.


As it was earlier stated, this advanced technology is moving rapidly across Africa, now 3D printing has reached western North Africa. Morocco builts its first 3D building as a show piece in the first edition of the “Solar Decathlon Africa”, an event that promotes the use of renewable energies in the manufacture of real estate in the city of Benguerir in Morocco. The company who used the 3d technology is called BE MORE 3D. This technology showcased ended up winning the company the prize for the most innovative startup, awarded by Green Africa Innovation Booster of IRESEN, the research institute of the Moroccan Ministry of Energy and

Materials Mixtures & Fibers in Printed Concrete

3D concrete printing is an additive manufacturing technology that is attracting attention from the construction sector for its potential to increase productivity and product quality. In Indonesia, 3D concrete printing technology is uncommon in construction activities, in contrast to the developed countries. The main challenge with using 3D concrete printing technology is determining the composition of material mixtures that have good extrudability but still maintain sufficient strength.

(The following summary of the scientific paper linked below was generated with my guidance by an AI software. Reach out to me if you feel strongly about it in a positive or negative way.)

A previous study conducted by Antoni et al. experienced several problems, such as unsatisfactory extrusion process and cracks in the 3D printed material. In this study, the cement-to-sand ratio was reduced to reduce the cost of the material. Synthetic microfiber was used to reduce crack problems. The study aimed to investigate the effect of the cement-to-sand ratio, maximum particle size of sand, and addition of synthetic microfiber on fresh and hardened concrete properties including workability, initial setting time, extrudability, and compressive strength. The materials used were silica sand, calcium oxide (CaO), Portland cement, synthetic micro-fiber, admixtures such as accelerators and superplasticizers. Mix designs are shown in Table 1. The mixture with a higher cement-to-sand ratio had greater compressive strength and smaller flow diameter because of higher fresh mixture compaction and viscosity. However, an increase in the cement-to-sand ratio caused concrete to have slightly faster initial setting time. Using sand with smaller particle size resulted in faster initial setting time; however particle size did not affect compressive strength or workability of mixtures investigated in this study according to their findings .

Addition of synthetic microfibers accelerated initial setting time , reduced workability of mixture ,and decreased compressive strength of concrete by 5 percent compared to mixture without microfibers . Extruded concrete showed significant strength reduction compared to compacted cube specimen without compaction due lower density caused by trapped air voids . There was also an effect noted in the load direction on compressive strength of extruded concrete depending on bond between each layer ,extrusion pressure from subsequent layer ,and setting time fo mixture which all play a role controlling compressive strength . All mixtures selected met requirement for setting time and workabilty for 3D concrete printing process . Only some mixtures achieved desired properties for extrusion process; however depending machine setup and nozzle size ,mixture needs to be readjusted to have required workability.

Please reference or cite facts from the original study linked below, don’t cite facts directly from this AI generated summary.

Original Scientific Paper

How to 3D Print a House

3D Printed Construction has taken the world by storm time and time again, it seems each time a new project launches the world gets even more excited as this technology starts to bring the initial promises of cheap/ fast construction closer to reality at scale. 

In my journeys around the world and of course nearly every state in the USA I have witnessed printing from all kinds of machines. It is incredible to see how many changes are being made to the print strategies they have over short periods of time. I am constantly inspired to continue digging deeper and learning more about automated construction as the issues which inspired me to pursue this in the first place worsen at an increasing pace. Housing costs, construction labor costs, these don’t seem to be temporary issues that are going away. I have been fortunate enough not only to watch these printers live on many occasions but also operate one taking lead on a print. 

On my travels I have in fact seen more 3D printed homes than printers and I make sure to visit them multiple times throughout the construction process so I can see the things that will potentially be hidden by the time the home is complete. To understand 3D printed construction on a beginner level you need to have a grasp on the following things:

3D Concrete Printing 


Printer Operation




Business Models 

Course of Action


I have built a course “How to 3D Print a House for Beginners” which overviews each of the sections above in 200 minutes of video lectures. There are so many printers out there but the course is designed to be a blanket overview for all of them that gives a general picture of the equipment you are likely to find at every job site. Each company is unique is some way so there are variances from the course but the point is to give a firm baseline understanding. 

I see this course platform developing into something that has tremendous group utility as course alumni pursue careers and startups in the 3D printed construction industry. As the small tribe of course members grows I have a roadmap for how I will build out more infrastructure on the website to accommodate the growing group. 

# of GraduatesMilestone
1Wow thank you so much let this be the start of something great for both of us!
5Add Short Quiz at Each Section
10Create Alumni Network Group Chat (Choose chat platform among ourselves)
25New Section “Choose a Material Provider / DIY Material”
50New Section “Choose a Printer”
100Digital Conference Free for Course Members on 3D Printed Construction
2003D Printed Construction Book Release
300One lucky course member gets free vacation night in a 3D printed house
500Create Alumni Network Job Board

The beta version 1.0 was launched yesterday and I have already made some small bug fixes and video updates. I guess you could say we are now on version 1.1, I intentionally set the price far below competing courses for the beta program but once I am sure it runs smoothly the price will increase sharply. By having the patience to be a part of the beta you save money for the same permanent course access that people will be paying double for in the future. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the course members who have reached out to let me know suggestions they have for improvements. 

[3DCP link roundup] bye^2 2021, welcome 2022 :-)

Wishes for a Happy New Year!

For those new-comers amongst us, please find below the pertinent review of all-news related happenings in our beloved 3DCP Industry.

From my side, may 2022 bring forth only Joy, Happiness, Love (including quality Family time) and ofcourse, 3D Construction Printing successes! 🙂

Kind regards,


News clippings (hyperlinks sorted by thematic category -or at least as close to 😀)

  • General/public interest:
    • What Were the 3D Printing Trends in 2021?” (link)
    • Gradations of Recycled Glass to Replace River Sand in 3D-Printed Concrete” (link)
    • Smart Cities: Paradise or Punishment?” (link)
    • Future Buildings Could Be Made From 3D Printed Microbes” (link)
    • Print your home, it’s faster and cheaper” (link)
    • Purdue researchers test 3D concrete printing system as part of NSF-funded project” (link)
    • Engineers Use 3D Printing to Speed Up Coral Reef Recovery” (link)
    • Bouligand Structure of Mantis Shrimp Inspires 3D Printing of Concrete” (link)
    • (Not) just another print of a wall” (link)
    • Von Perry is to Build the First 3D-Printed House in DFW” (link)
    • Uncertainty Makes Insuring 3D-Printed Construction Tricky” (link)
    • The most innovative 3D printing companies in 2021” (link)
    • Using 3D printed sand, these structures become stronger than concrete” (link)
    • 3D Printable “Eco-concrete” Lends Affordability to Housing” (link)
    • PUPR Ministry starts trial of indigenous 3D Concrete Printing tech” (link)
    • First 3D Printed residential home in Canada to be built in Leamington, Ont.” (link)
    • 3-D printed homes to house youth in need in Leamington” (link)
    • 3D Printed Concrete House Coming to Dallas” (link)
    • Iowa State University gets $1.4 million to buy 3D concrete printer for low-cost homebuilding” (link)
    • Design for Disruption: 3D Printing Design for Ruins” (link)
    • Instead of concrete, 3D printers thread houses with clay” (link)
    • City of Medford looks over proposed 3D constructed neighborhood” (link) (youtube)
    • Does 3D Printed Architecture Have Real Potential? We Talk With an Architect About His Experience Designing and Building a 3D Printed House” (link)
    • Habitat for Humanity to Celebrate the Completion of 3D Printed House” (link)
    • New ISU project will design 3D-printed housing for rural Iowa” (link)
    • First 3D-printed, owner-occupied home in US to be unveiled” (link)
    • Imerys : Minerals help speed up 3D Construction Printing process” (link)
    • Dior’s new concept store was 3D printed in 120 hours — Future Blink” (link) (youtube)
    • 3D printed homes making Redding debut aren’t ‘concrete bunkers’” (link)
    • Companies turn to 3D printing tech to construct houses” (link)
    • 3D-printed homes: Gimmick or affordable-housing solution?” (link)
    • Exploring extreme design with 3D printing” (link)
    • Efficiency – Spray Foam Magazine – Winter 2021” (link)
    • Venice footbridge, Dubai concept store created using 3D printing technology” (link)
    • 3D printed house takes shape in rural China” (link) (link) (link) (link)
    • The Advantages of Additively Manufacturing Printing Concrete” (link)
    • How 3D Houses Are Changing the Housing Industry” (link)
  • Space:
    • SpaceX 3D prints building extension at Texas Starbase – Construction 3D printing youtube Jarrett Gross first to break story” (link) 🙂
    • Australian start-up and university partnering to 3D print structures on the moon” (link)
    • Australian 3D Printing Company Wants to Build Houses on the Moon” (link)
    • How 3D Printers Are Helping The Homeless And Astronauts” (link)
    • “Project Meeka: Developing Tech for 3D Printing Moon Habitats” (link)
  • Start-ups:
    • What Are the 3D Printing Startups to Know in 2021?” (link)
    • IIT-M startup Tvasta: India’s first 3D-printed house” (link)
    • Startups Building 3D Printed Homes Aim for Large-Scale Success” (link)
    • This Dallas startup wants to 3D-print your new home” (link)
    • Dallas Startup Von Perry Is Building a 3D-Printed Home in Collin County” (link)
    • 3Lines leads investment in MiCoB, the future of construction industry” (link)
  • Foam-related:
    • ETH zurich uses foam 3D printing to produce intricate recyclable formwork in concrete casting” (link)
    • Foam 3D printing technique could minimize concrete is used in construction” (link) (link)
  • 14Trees:
    • Mvule Gardens, Africa’s largest 3D printed affordable housing project” (link)
    • 14Trees and CDC Group build 52-house 3D-printed housing development in Kilifi county” (link)
    • Kenya to construct Africa’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project” (link)
  • Black Buffalo:
    • 3D printing specialist plans Pennsylvania parcel for equipment, R&D hub” (link)
    • Black Buffalo 3D Wants to Reduce Construction’s Carbon Footprint Using 3D Printing” (link)
    • Black Buffalo 3D collaborates to develop Plant-based 3D Construction Ink” (link)
    • Black Buffalo 3D Buys 106 Acres in Pennsylvania for 3D Construction Printer Factory, 3D Printed Affordable Housing and Modular Showcase” (link)
  • COBOD:
    • Cemex and Cobod International launch D.fab admixtures for 3D concrete printing” (link)
    • CEMEX and COBOD introduce 3D printing technology” (link)
    • Mexico’s Cemex, Denmark’s Cobod Team Up to Expand Homebuilding With 3D Printers” (link)
    • Could Denmark-based 3D home printing firm ‘put Redding on the map?” (link)
    • CEMEX B de C : With new 3D printing technology, CEMEX and COBOD build a better future” (link)
    • D.fab promises 90% cost reduction in concrete 3D printing materials” (link)
    • Holcim and COBOD Build First 3D Printed House in Kenya” (link)
    • World’s largest real concrete building 3D printed by GUtech university” (link)
    • Oman builds world’s largest 3D printed real concrete building” (link)
  • Cybe:
    • 3D-printed ‘green’ villa in Sharjah cuts building and maintenance costs” (link)
  • ICON:
    • Texas will soon get an entire neighbourhood of 3D-printed houses” (link)
    • Want to live in a house made by a printer? It could be the future” (link)
    • World’s Largest 3D-Printed Neighborhood Set to Break Ground in Austin Next Year” (link)
    • Texas company leading 3D home printing innovation” (link)
  • Twente Additive Manufacturing (TAM):
    • 3D printed houses are here” (link)
  • Vertico:
    • MAI International partners with Vertico on construction 3D printers” (link)
  • WASP:
    • WASP Displays New 3D Printers and Sustainable Innovation at Formnext 2021” (link)

Scientific papers:

  • “Evaluation and Correlation Study on Work Performance of 3D-Printed Concrete” (link)
  • Investigation of the material mixtures and fiber addition for 3D concrete printing” (link)
  • Discrete Fresh Concrete Model for Simulation of Ordinary, Self-Consolidating, and Printable Concrete Flow” (link)
  • A Preliminary Study on the Mix Design of 3D-Printable Engineered Cementitious Composite” (link)
  • 3D-printed concrete with recycled glass: Effect of glass gradation on flexural strength and microstructure” (link)
  • Mathematical morphology-based point cloud analysis techniques for geometry assessment of 3D printed concrete elements” (link)
  • Role of chemical admixtures on 3D printed Portland cement: Assessing rheology and buildability” (link)
  • Influence of substrate surface roughness and moisture content on tensile adhesion performance of 3D printable concrete” (link)
  • Effect of drying environment on mechanical properties, internal RH and pore structure of 3D printed concrete” (link)
  • Dynamic characterization of the layer-interface properties of 3D-printed concrete elements” (link)
  • Analysis of the mechanical performance and damage mechanism for 3D printed concrete based on pore structure” (link)
  • Study on Main Parameters Affecting 3D Printing Performance of Clay” (link)
  • Constructive design of double curved shells for 3D concrete printing” (link)
  • New technology in 3D Concrete Printing by Using Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag: A Review” (link)
  • A Study on the Analysis of the Trend of installations Using 3D Printing Technique” (link)
  • Experimental Study on Increase of Bonding Strength of FRP Reinforcement in Concrete” (link)
  • Physical modelling of reinforced concrete at a 1:40 scale using additively manufactured reinforcement cages” (link)
  • A comprehensive review of emerging additive manufacturing (3D printing technology): Methods, materials, applications, challenges, trends and future potential” (link)
  • An efficient computational framework for generating realistic 3D mesoscale concrete models using micro X-ray computed tomography images and dynamic physics engine” (link)
  • On programming of polyvinylidene fluoride–limestone composite for four-dimensional printing applications in heritage structures” (link)
  • Machine Learning-Evolutionary Algorithm Enabled Design for 4D-Printed Active Composite Structures” (link)
  • Projections for Lunar Culture, Living, and Working: How Will We Be Different?” (link)
  • Evaluating the Effect of 3D Printing Technologies on Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Practical Case Study” (link)
  • Development of Productivity Analysis Simulation Model for Formwork Based on 3D Printing Technology Using ARENA” (link)
  • The relative impact of isomorphic pressures on the adoption of radical technology: Evidence from 3D printing” (link)
  • From materials to components: 3D-printed architected honeycombs toward high-performance and tunable electromagnetic interference shielding” (link)
  • Digitisation of contemporary fabrication processes in the AEC sector” (link)
  • Influence of kenaf stalk on printability and performance of 3D printed industrial tailings based geopolymer” (link)
  • Design and Implementation of 3D Printing Using a Universal Printing System on the Robot Arm UR5” (link)
  • PVA fibre reinforced high-strength cementitious composite for 3D printing: Mechanical properties and durability” (link)
  • 3D printing nanocomposites with controllable “strength-toughness” transition: Modification of SiO2 and construction of Stereocomplex Crystallites” (link)
  • Strain-hardening fiber reinforced polymer concrete with a low carbon footprint” (link)
  • Fabrication Information Modeling: Closing the gap between Building Information Modeling and Digital Fabrication” (link)
  • A novel internal curing method for 3D-printed geopolymer structures reinforced with a steel cable: Electro-heating” (link)
  • 3D Printing Deformation Estimation Using Artificial Vision Strategies for Smart-Construction” (link)
  • Cross-linking of biopolymers for stabilizing earthen construction materials” (link)
  • 3D concrete printing of bioinspired Bouligand structure: A study on impact resistance” (link)
  • Chloride Diffusion by Build Orientation of Cementitious Material-Based Binder Jetting 3D Printing Mortar” (link)
  • Dronology and 3D Printing as a Catalyst for International Trade in Industry 4.0.” (link)
  • Effect of alternating current field on rheology of fresh cement-based pastes” (link)
  • Bonding Strength Analysis of Multi-material and Multi-color Specimens Printed with Multi-extrusion Printer” (link)
  • Bamboo-inspired, simulation-guided design and 3D printing of light-weight and high-strength mechanical metamaterials” (link)
  • Role of Metal 3D Printing to Increase Quality and Resource-efficiency in the Construction Sector” (link)
  • Bond shear performances and constitutive model of interfaces between vertical and horizontal filaments of 3D printed concrete” (link)
  • Performance of concrete beam reinforced with 3D printed Bioinspired primitive scaffold subjected to three-point bending” (link)
  • High toughness 3D printed white Portland cement-based materials with glass fiber textile” (link)
  • The relationship between the rheological behavior and interlayer bonding properties of 3D printing cementitious materials with the addition of attapulgite” (link)
  • 3D printing as an automated manufacturing method for a carbon fiber-reinforced cementitious composite with outstanding flexural strength (105 N/mm2)” (link)
  • Differential Property Prediction: A Machine Learning Approach to Experimental Design in Advanced Manufacturing” (link)
  • Building sympathy: Waiting-with digital fabrication machines as a form of architectural labor” (link)
  • Advances and current trends on the use of 3D printed concrete for building fabrication” (link)
  • 3D-Printed Mortars with Combined Steel and Polypropylene Fibers” (link)
  • Numerical Predictions of Bottom Layer Stability in Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing” (link)
  • Material Characterization of Diversity Aggregated Cementitious Materials Produced with a Modular Lightweight Additive Manufacturing Extrusion System” (link)
  • Simultaneous design of topology and printing direction of structural elements for Wire-and-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM)” (link)
  • On 3D printing of electro-active PVDF-Graphene and Mn-doped ZnO nanoparticle-based composite as a self-healing repair solution for heritage structures” (link)
  • Effect of Particle Size and Shape on Wall Slip of Highly Filled Powder Feedstocks for Material Extrusion and Powder Injection Molding” (link)
  • Effect of reinforcement configurations on the flexural behaviors of 3D printed fiber reinforced cementitious composite (FRCC) beams” (link)
  • Real-time toolpath planning and extrusion control (RTPEC) method for variable-width 3D concrete printing” (link)
  • Assessment of materials, design parameters and some properties of 3D printing concrete mixtures; a state-of-the-art review” (link)
  • Investigation on applicability of spherical electric arc furnace slag as fine aggregate in superplasticizer-free 3D printed concrete” (link)
  • Rheology and microstructure development of hydrating tricalcium silicate – implications for additive manufacturing in construction” (link)
  • Flow Characterization of Three-Dimensional Printable Cementitious Pastes during Extrusion Using Capillary Rheometry” (link)
  • Extrusion-Based Three-Dimensional Printing Performance of Alkali-Activated Binders” (link)
  • Case Study: Measuring Flow and Setting Time for Three-Dimensionally Printed Mortar” (link)
  • Feasibility of 3D printing to fill in-situ cracks in asphalt concretes” (link)
  • A process optimization of additive layer manufacturing processes for the production of polymer composite-based components” (link)
  • Transformative Vision Assessment and 3-D Printing Futures: A New Approach of Technology Assessment to Address Grand Societal Challenges” (link)
  • Understanding the role and capabilities of Internet of Things-enabled Additive Manufacturing through its applications” (link)
  • Effect of High-Pressure Hot Airflow On Interlayer Adhesion Strength of 3D Printed Parts” (link)
  • Structural behavior of 3D-printed sandwich beams with strut-based lattice core: Experimental and numerical study” (link)
  • A novel bond stress-slip model for 3-D printed concretes” (link)
  • Evaluation of Model 3D Printer and Design Mix for 3D Concrete Printing” (link)
  • Investigation of influence of printing parameters on the quality of 3D printed composite structures” (link)
  • Effect of directionally distributed steel fiber on static and dynamic properties of 3D printed cementitious composite” (link)
  • Novel tri-viscous model to simulate pumping of flowable concrete through characterization of lubrication layer and plug zones” (link)
  • Experimental and numerical analysis of the bending behavior of 3D printed modified auxetic sandwich structures” (link)
  • 3D concrete printing for sustainable and economical construction: A comparative study” (link)
  • Investigation on applicability of spherical electric arc furnace slag as fine aggregate in superplasticizer-free 3D printed concrete” (link)
  • Three-Dimensional Printing of Reinforced Concrete and Nozzle Therefor” (link)
  • Evaluating the Environmental Performance of 3D Printed Shelters in Jordan” (link)
  • Fatigue behaviour and abrasion resistance of prefabricated pavement textures assisted with 3d printing technology” (link)
  • Fatigue behavior and abrasion resistance of prefabricated pavement textures assisted with 3D printing technology” (link)
  • Magneto-rheology control in 3D concrete printing: A rheological attempt” (link)
  • Structural efficiency of varying-thickness regolith-based lunar arches against inertial loading” (link)
  • Recent review on synthesis, evaluation, and SWOT analysis of nanostructured cellulose in construction applications” (link)
  • Towards fully BIM-enabled building automation and robotics: A perspective of lifecycle information flow” (link)
  • Foam stability of 3D printable foamed concrete” (link)
  • The Influence of Polypropylene Fiber on the Working Performance and Mechanical Anisotropy of 3D Printing Concrete” (link)
  • Industrial Revolution 4.0 in the Construction Industry: Challenges and Opportunities” (link)
  • “A Basic Study on the Manufacture of UHPC 3D stereoscopic panels using 3D Printer” (link)
  • Evaluation on Hydrophobicity of the Surface of Hardened Cement Paste Produced by PDMS Mold” (link)
  • Additive Manufacturing Materials” (link)
  • Development of rapid set mortar for additive manufacturing” (link)
  • Stress distributions in the textures of prefabricated pavement surface created with the assistance of 3D printing technology” (link)
  • One-Pot 3D Printing of Robust Multimaterial Devices” (link)
  • Mica filled polyetherketoneketones for material extrusion 3D printing” (link)
  • Investigation of the Structural and Thermal Behaviour of 3D Printed Concrete Walls” (link)
  • A practical model to predict the flow of water-powder mixes and its application to mix design of cementitious blends” (link)
  • Development of rapid set mortar for additive manufacturing” (link)

American Concrete Institute:

  • Rheological Response of Magnetorheological Cementitious Inks Tuned for Active Control in Digital Construction” (link)
  • Characterization of Tensile Behavior of Fresh Cementitious Materials” (link)
  • Rheological Characterization of Three-Dimensional-Printed Polymer Concrete” (link)
  • Use of Nanoclays and Methylcellulose to Tailor Rheology for Three-Dimensional Concrete Printing” (link)
  • Effect of Red Mud, Nanoclay, and Natural Fiber on Fresh and Rheological Properties of Three-Dimensional Concrete Printing” (link)
  • Three-Dimensional (3D)-Printed Wood-Starch Composite as Support Material for 3D Concrete Printing” (link)
  • Optimizing Three-Dimensional Printing Binder Composed of Ordinary Portland Cement and Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement with Retarders” (link)
  • Controlling Three-Dimensional-Printable Concrete with Vibration” (link)
  • Citric Acid Influence on Sprayable Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement-Engineered Cementitious Composites’ Fresh/ Hardened Properties” (link)
  • Limestone Calcined Clay Cement for Three-Dimensional- Printed Engineered Cementitious Composites” (link)
  • Computational Investigation of Concrete Pipe Flow: Critical Review” (link)
  • Effect of Particle Contact and High-Range Water-Reducing Admixture Adsorption on Rheology of Cement Paste” (link)
  • Flow Characterization of Three-Dimensional Printable Cementitious Pastes during Extrusion Using Capillary Rheometry” (link)
  • Determining Printable Zone of Three-Dimensional-Printable Mortar Using Flow Table Tests” (link)
  • Nanotechnology for Improved Three-Dimensional Concrete Printing Constructability” (link)


  • Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Technology – Principles and Applications” By G.K. Awari, C.S. Thorat, Vishwjeet Ambade, D.P. Kothari (link)

Doctorate Thesis:


MSc Theses:

  • Construction Techniques for Lowering Embodied GHGs: A Review of Prefabrication and 3D Printed Concrete Mix Designs” (link)
  • 3D printing of bio-inspired, multimaterial structures to enhance stiffness and toughness” (link)
  • Development of the Russian construction industry in the context of transition to a digital economy” (link)

P.S. #1:

This article (ssh! secret/not included above 😀) is especially dedicated to Iakovos Giorgkensenis, mech tech God from the Northern Greeks (once hyggelig, always hyggelig <3)

P.S. #2: (disclaimer :D)

For those amongst us Brave enought (:-D) to reach the end of this post, please be advised: depending on the relevant parties’ feedback and receipt of this blog post series, from 2022 we might be shifting to a more “focus on one article/newsclipping at a time” approach… Any/all suggestions welcome 🙂 Another thought is to focus on one 3DCP Company at a time…. Only Time will tell; New Year hastily approaching 🙂

Secret SpaceX 3D Printed Building in Texas

For a long time I’ve wondered why Elon never participated in 3D printed construction. As such a big fan of automation I would think he would have at least mentioned it once or twice but it turns out his company SpaceX has been experimenting with this technology more than the public was aware (until now). This is certainly the biggest story I have had the pleasure of breaking, I am honored that one of my YouTube subscribers anonymously contacted me and told me how to find the project. 

When I heard about this project I booked a flight to Brownsville and went directly to SpaceX. I was able to do this because of all the support I get from the Virtual Village members. The Virtual Village has over 20 digital tours in the MetaVerse of 3D printed buildings and facilities totaling over 20,000 sq ft of virtually walkable space. Use code “EARLYBIRD” for 15% off for the next 20 members! 

The construction completed by SpaceX is an addition to “The Hub” which is a small gathering space between the two launch pads on south padre island. Being an addition, this project did not require its own electrical/plumbing so it was pretty much just a simple print. The quality of the printed lines is quite high with no visible cracking. No visible cracks is a rarity in this space, it is possible that they concealed non structural aesthetic cracks but I saw no evidence of it. An Apis Cor printer was used to complete this project but I am unsure of the terms of their agreement. Currently Apis Cor uses a rental business model where customers must commit to a 1 year agreement. This project with SpaceX may have been a rental or may have just been something Apis was contracted to build as a one off and I am leaning towards the later because I didn’t see the printer there anymore and it was still actively under construction. 

It is validating to see SpaceX experimenting with 3D printed concrete technology and it will be much more validating if they continue to do so. Hopefully I will be able to return to this site and do an interview with a SpaceX team member on why they decided to 3D print this addition to their Hub building. I personally feel that it will be more practical to go underground on mars in order to avoid the harmful radiation but if SpaceX is getting involved there must be something to it. Remember Elon also has the Boring Company which is the fastest tunnel digging machine in the world, I wonder if one of those things would fit in a falcon heavy rocket?

I will certainly make Brownsville one of my regular stops when I am in Texas, even if they don’t print any more buildings its so cool seeing the space ships and I’ve recently learned that SpaceX implements 3D printed metal for parts of the rocket engines. Printing allows more dynamic design possibilities because you can achieve structures within hollow sections that cannot be injection moulded due to their complexity. If I could ever get permission to see that process I would be super eager to make a video on it! Until then I will watch from afar, the SpaceX employee who very kindly asked me to leave the private property was too nice of a guy for me to disobey his request for me not to trespass. Hopefully I can do this again but through the proper routes in the future but I must admit I do enjoy the adventure! 

Back in the day when I started my channel 2 years ago I was much more brash and kind of reckless, I trespassed a lot and refused to remove multiple videos but now that I have been at it for longer I am learning that it is more important to preserve relationships with innovative companies rather than trying to meddle in their private actives against their wishes. More and more information about construction automation is becoming available to the public as new stakeholders with a wide variety of motivations enter the market. Specifically the Habitat for Humanity projects will probably be the most transparent 3DCP project to date but we will have to wait until they are complete to get the information on what it cost to complete that project. The one in Arizona will be particularly illuminating because 3 stickbuilt homes of the same size are built right next door so it will be the first truly valid cost comparison.

P.S. Hey Elon! I’ve seen almost every concrete printer company just reach out if you’d ever like to chat! I’m always happy to talk to people printing buildings.  (For those who haven’t yet I charge a fee.) 

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[NK #008] 3DCP link roundup (once more into the fray!)

Dear All, please find below the latest update concerning our beloved Industry 😉

A more “digestible”/reader-friendly (focus on avoidance-of-TLDR mode on 😀) was followed in this circular. Furthermore, all links are grouped (as much as possible) thematically-related 😉

I. Related/selected news clippings collection:

  1. 2 Companies Announce Plans to 3D Print Entire Texas Neighborhood” (link) –> “…if the project succeeds, it could eventually help alleviate chronic shortages of affordable housing in cities across the U.S.
  2. The future of home building? 3D-printed homes coming to the USA” (link) –> “…can withstand extreme weather conditions and be produced leaving much less waste than traditional builds..
  3. A pact towards 3D printing hemp based affordable housing” (link) –> “The companies will form a green box solution–a perfect trifecta of hemp processing, construction ink development and printing–that begins at the farm level creating jobs, training opportunities and innovation with the potential to change the world.
  4. Black Buffalo 3D Announces Pact to 3D Print Plant-Based Affordable Housing” (link) –> “The group’s mission is to introduce a greener alternative to traditional building materials — used for infrastructure, housing, and commercial applications.
  5. The First Park to be Built Using 3D Printing is in China” (link) –> “…is said to be composed of 50% sand that can be obtained locally, thus reducing the environmental footprint and transportation costs
  6. This is the first public park printed in 3D” (link) –> “…the 2,000 pieces that they created to decorate this public park of more than 5,500 square meters, were printed in two and a half months, a fraction of the time that would have been necessary with bricklayers and conventional cement.
  7. Purdue researchers test 3D concrete printing system as part of NSF-funded project” (link) –> “…conducting research into RCAM Technologies’ 3D-printed suction anchors to replace traditional anchors for offshore wind plants.
  8. Offices completed in just 45 hours using 3-D printing technology” (link) –> “Laying down two parallel printing paths creates a hollow wall that is then backfilled with cast-in-place concrete as a load-bearing system. To create the outer wall, a second cavity is formed by printing another mortar path further outside the previous wall and filling this with thermal insulation material. The printed walls can be regarded as a kind of lost formwork system.”

II. Current scientific literature review (published papers):

  1. A review of printing strategies, sustainable cementitious materials and characterization methods in the context of extrusion-based 3D concrete printing” (link), Authors: Yu Chen, Shan He, Yidong Gan, Oğuzhan Çopuroğlu, Fred Veer, Erik Schlangen
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “Compared to the very high/sufficiently stiff material, the material for set-on-demand printing exhibits exceptionally high fluidity during mixing, pumping, and extrusion processes, which may be more suitable for large-scale construction projects. However, the study of set-on-demand printing is still limited and requires further investigation.”
  2. The influence of interface on the structural stability in 3D concrete printing processes” (link), Authors: Xuanting Liu, Bohua Sun
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The numerical model presented in this paper can accuratelypredict the stability failure height of the printed structure, whichindicates that the layer interface is an important index that shouldbe used to evaluate the stability of a printed structure.
  3. Effect of processing parameters on the printing quality of 3D printed composite cement-based materials” (link), Authors: Hongping Zhang, Jianhong Wang, Yaling Liu, Xiaoshuang Zhang, Zhiyi Zhao
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The printing speed determines the accuracy of the printing compo-nent size, and the printing line width has a great influence on the printing component size. In the case of certain fluidity, viscosity and nozzle diameter, the printing width decreases with increasing printing speed, and the optimal printing speed is 50 mm/s; The concrete requires advanced leveling at the initial stage of printing. The printing thickness of each layer is different in the leveling stage. After the leveling stage, the thickness of each layer remains at a certain value, which is basically the same as the height of the printing nozzle from the printing layer platform. Intermittent printing with a joint can improve the printing quality, but it easily causes stress concentration at the joint, and special treatment is required to improve the overall strength.
  4. Investigation of the material mixtures and fiber addition for 3D concrete printing” (link), Authors: A Antoni, A Agraputra, D Teopilus, A H Sunaryo, M M Mulyadi, P Pudjisuryadi, J Chandra, D Hardjito
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “There is an effect in the load direction on the compressive strength of the extruded concrete. The 3D printed concrete loaded parallel or perpendicular to its printing direction could have different compressive strengths. The bond between each layer, extrusion pressure from the subsequent layer, and the setting time of the mixture would play a significant role in controlling the compressive strength.
  5. Creative Compensation (CC): Future of Jobs with Creative Works in 3D Printing” (link), Authors: Chen Liang, Nahyun Kwon, Jeeeun Kim
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “Although there is a diverse gap between ideal compensation and the current status, it still shows a wide variety of socio-economic opportunities for designers.
  6. Multi-material additive manufacturing in architecture and construction: A review” (link), Authors: Adam Pajonk, Alejandro Prieto, Ulrich Blum, Ulrich Knaack
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “…initial projects and proof-of-concept models aim to mitigate the general challenges of the industry, such as high material consumption, limited adaptability of components to environmental changes and structural requirements, and an overload of complexity of the prevailing assembly and construction processes. From these projects, the potentials of creating functionally graded transitions, adjusting the material properties across the volume of an object, eliminating interfaces and enabling part-count reduction across different materials, and 4D Printing – programming material behaviour were identified and discussed using the respective examples. These potentials highlight opportunities for MMAM in the architecture and construction industry that can be further 954 developed and transferred to other use cases.
  7. Interlayer Strength of 3D‐Printed Mortar Reinforced by Post-installed Reinforcement” (link), Authors: Jihun Park, Quang‐The Bui, Jungwoo Lee, Changbin Joh, In‐Hwan Yang
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The interlayer bonding strengths of 3D‐printed mortar with different curing conditions and reinforcement methods were investigated in this study.”
  8. Modeling and analysis of 3D-printed reinforced and prestressed concrete beams” (link), Authors: J Chandra, H Wibowo, D Wijaya, F O Purnomo, P Pudjisuryadi, A Antoni
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The constitutive law for conventional concrete can adequately be used to model 3D-printed RC and PC beams failing in flexure.
  9. Thermal and Environmental Benefits of 3D Printing on Building Construction” (link), Authors: Luiz Rocha, Antonio Ferreira Miguel, Andreas Öchsner
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “This work presents the most important advances in 3D printing in civil engineering, specifically, a critical review of the thermal and environmental benefits of 3D printing on building construction.
  10. Classification of Robotic 3D Printers in the AEC Industry” (link), Authors: Ala Saif Eldin Sati, Bharadwaj R. K. Mantha, Saleh Abu Dabous, Borja García de Soto
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The developed classifications showed that the most used material in 3D printing in the AEC industry is cementitious. Although polymers are the most common material used in 3D printing in different industries, it is limited in AEC industry. The right parameters should be selected in order to determine the appropriate 3D printing robotic systems.
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The results of parameter model and finite element simulation were compared with the existing experiments, which verify that the proposed model can better predict the failure length and failure form of 3DCP cylinders, and provide a theoretical guidance for finding the optimal printing parameters set.
  12. The Limitation and Application of geometric Buildings and Civil Structures” (link), Authors: Majid M. Kharnoob, Al hasan J. Hasan, Lana M. Sabti
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “This invoice concerning trade opinions appears over associated according to the geometric QA concerning constructions then non-military constructions the usage about non-contact sensing technologies.
  13. Is Your Construction Site Secure? A View From the Cybersecurity Perspective” (link), Authors: M. S. Sonkoram B. García de Soto
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “…an implementation of a generic cybersecurity framework (i.e., the FICIC by NIST) that assesses the employed countermeasures against the construction-specific cyber threats was presented in this paper.
  14. Residential Construction with a Focus on Evaluation of the Life Cycle of Buildings” (link), Authors: Eduard Hromada, Stanislav Vitasek, Jakub Holcman, Renata Schneiderova Heralova, Tomas Krulicky
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “The paper investigated the potential role of LCC calculations in planning, construction, and operation phases of residential development projects. The paper tested the impact of five variants of heating and hot water preparation on life cycle costs (LCC). The LCC tool developed by the co-authors of this article was used for testing.
  15. Exploring the potential of 3D Printing Construction to address housing issues for South Sudanese Refugees“, MSc Thesis (link), Author: Kyle O’Brien Quinn
    • Excerpt of notice/interest: “If the development of 3D printing reaches the point to where it can become accessible to these hard-to-reach areas and provides enough benefits to supplement the traditional forms of vernacular construction, it has the potential to affect positive change in these areas much like the smartphone has.

Kind regards; everybody remain calm & 3D print 🙂

[NK #007] 3DCP link roundup (this time, unsorted.. let’s see how it goes :D)

Wishes from the post’s start for a pleasant & restful weekend.

Current scientific literature review sorted by:

A. Published papers:

  1. Digital fabrication of eco-friendly ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete” (link), Authors: Arun R. Arunothayan, Behzad Nematollahi, Ravi Ranade, Kamal H. Khayat, Jay G. Sanjayan
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The rheological flow curves of the G-UHPFRC mixtures were non-linear and followed the Hershel-Buckley model. When OPC was partially replaced by SCMs, the yield stress and viscosity were reduced, and the structural build-up rate was lower. Plastic collapses were observed in S0F60 and S30F30 mixtures when a relatively high print speed was employed (80 mm/s). Nevertheless, all mixtures performed sufficiently well when the print speed was 30 mm/s.
  2. Design of novel nozzles for higher interlayer strength of 3D printed cement paste” (link), Authors: Lewei He, Jolyn Ze Mei Tan, Wai Tuck Chow, Hua Li, Jiahui Pan
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The present nozzle optimization also extends to another supplementary paste formula with higher water-cement ratio equal to about 0.23. It is found that the “Kidney” shape achieves the interlayer strength of 2.25 MPa and becomes the optimized outlet design subject to this paste formula, and the “Cir4″ nozzle becomes superior to the “Cir3″ nozzle due to smaller notch depth that is printed. Moreover, the notch depth by the nozzles with the side trowel is further reduced by the higher water-cement ratio of paste, such that the produced interlayer strength is 3.88 MPa, comparable to that generated with the treatment by removing the interlayer notch.
  3. Mechanical and microstructural properties of 3D printable concrete in the context of the twin-pipe pumping strategy” (link), Authors: Yaxin Tao, A.V. Rahul, Karel Lesage, Kim Van Tittelboom, Yong Yuan, Geert De Schutter
    • Selected quote/point of interest: Fig. 20. Ion migration between the striations of PC-based mixture and LP-based mixture” (believe me, it is worth noticing this specific Figure…!)
  4. “Multi-objective optimization of 3D printed shell toolpaths” (link), Authors: Alexander CURTH, Tim BRODESSER, Lawrence SASS, Caitlin MUELLER
    • Selected quote/point of interest:  “Establishing standardized testing procedures for less engineered materials, such as local soil mixtures, would allow for more accurate simulation of truly low embodied carbon materials for construction scale printing.”
  5. Modeling the robotics implementation barriers for construction projects in developing countries” (link), Authors: Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke, Ahmed Farouk Kineber, Ibraheem Albukhari, Adeyemi James Dada
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The findings obtained from this study showed that construction professionals exhibited a considerable level of knowledge regarding the adoption of robotics. However, the practical application of robotics in the construction industry was still deficient.”
  6. Additive Manufacturing of Sustainable Construction Materials and Form-finding Structures: A Review on Recent Progresses” (link), Authors: Junli Liu, Vuong Nguyen-Van, Biranchi Panda, Kate Fox, Anton du Plessis, Phuong Tran
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The fresh and hardened mechanical properties of various sustainable materials for extrusion-based 3D printing are presented, followed by discussions on different topology optimization techniques. The current state of global research and industrial applications in 3DCP, along with the development of sustainable construction materials, is also summarized.
  7. Additive Manufacturing of Sustainable Construction Materials and Form-finding Structures: A Review on Recent Progresses” (link), Authors: Junli Liu, Vuong Nguyen-Van, Biranchi Panda, Kate Fox, Anton du Plessis, Phuong Tran
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The current state of global research and industrial applications in 3DCP, along with the development of sustainable construction materials, is also summarized.
  8. Dimensional Stability of 3D Printed Objects Made from Plastic Waste Using FDM: Potential Construction Applications” (link), Authors: Essam Zaneldin, Waleed Ahmed, Aya Mansour, Amged El Hassan
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The study also concluded that 3D printed material from plastic waste is considered a feasible alternative for several traditional construction elements, such as lightweight concrete hollow blocks, ultra-lightweight concrete hollow blocks, and lightweight concrete bricks, since they are less expensive and have higher compressive strength. The cost per square meter of 3D printed objects is around 41% less than that of the traditional lightweight concrete bricks with a higher compressive strength.
  9. Mechanical evaluations of bioinspired TPMS cellular cementitious structures manufactured by 3D printing formwork” (link), Author: Vuong Nguyen-Van
    • Selected quote/point of interest: This study indicates that the mechanical performance of the TPMS (Primitive and Gyroid) and lattice blocks from the experiment show great agreement with that predicted by the FE analysis.
  10. Effect of accelerated curing and layer deformations on structural failure during extrusion-based 3D printing” (link), Author: A.S.J.Suiker
    • Selected quote/point of interest: Recent experimental research indicates that the buildability of fresh concrete used in extrusion-based 3D printing processes can be significantly enhanced by chemically accelerating the curing process. In the present contribution the effect of accelerated curing on failure by plastic collapse and elastic buckling during 3D concrete printing is explored by incorporating a power-law curing function in the parametric 3D printing model.
  11. A Compact ESPI System for Measuring 3D Displacements” (link), Authors: F. Zanini Broetto, G. S. Schajer
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The novel ESPI interferometer presented here can measure full-field surface displacements in three dimensions.”
    • Selected quote/point of interest: The pressure on workers at the lowest income level will increase, as technological changes will affect their employability more than at higher income categories.”
  13. USING IMMERSIVE VIDEO TECHNOLOGY FOR CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT CONTENT DELIVERY: A PILOT STUDY” (link), Authors: Alireza Shojaei, Saeed Rokooei, Amirsaman Mahdavian, Lee Carson, George Ford
  14. Sustainable binders for the creation of a dredge-based tile” (MSc Thesis)(link), Author: Otger Spinnewijn
  15. High-performance strain-hardening cementitious composites with tensile strain capacity exceeding 4%: A review” (link), Authors: Doo-Yeol Yoo, Nemkumar Banthia
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “SHCCs have high potential as materials for 3D building construction. However, most of the previous studies have been conducted based on ordinary SHCC materials, such as ECC, ultra-high-ductility concrete with normal compressive strength of 38.8 MPa, and high-strength FRCCs. Therefore, further research on the development of 3D-printable high-performance SHCCs with over 55 MPa compressive strength and 4% strain capacity is required.”
  16. A Multi(two)-Nozzle Cable-Driven Parallel Robot For 3D Printing Building Construction: Path Optimization and Vibration Analysis” (link), Authors: Sy Nguyen-Van, Kwan-Woong Gwak
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “To investigate the vibration of the two-nozzle CDPR, its natural frequencies were computed by using the finite element method and its results were verified with a comparison with the commercial software results. Through natural frequency analysis, it was found that the higher stiffness or the higher natural frequencies could be achieved by increasing the minimum cable tension constraint used in the tension distribution optimization algorithm. It is also revealed that the natural frequency goes up as the printing head moves up towards the top center of the workspace.”
  17. Dimensional Stability of 3D Printed Objects Made from Plastic Waste Using FDM: Potential Construction Applications” (link), Authors: Essam Zaneldin, Waleed Ahmed, Aya Mansour, Amged El Hassan
  18. AutoCIS: An Automated Construction Inspection System for Quality Inspection of Buildings” (link), Authors: S. A. Prieto, N. Giakoumidis, B. García de Soto
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “This study presents the preliminary work done to develop the AutoCIS, an automated construction inspection system consisting of a multi-robot approach for autonomous quality assessment and progress monitoring during the construction stage.”
  19. 3DP-FAS: An Intelligent Quality Assurance System for 3D Printer” (link), Authors: Basil C. Sunny, Shajulin Benedict, Keerthana B.
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “This paper proposes a new architecture named 3DPFAS, for detecting failures as well as assuring the quality of 3D printing. This architecture is built upon the IoT-3DP ecology of remote 3D printers connected through the internet, camera modules and Web APIs.
  20. Environmental Footprint and Economics of a Full-Scale 3D-Printed House” (link), Authors: Hadeer Abdalla, Kazi Parvez Fattah, Mohamed Abdallah, Adil K. Tamimi
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “The eco-efficiency analysis revealed that 3D printing was the optimum choice.
  21. Early-age creep behaviour of 3D printable mortars: Experimental characterisation and analytical modelling” (link), Authors: Laura Esposito, Lorenzo Casagrande, Costantino Menna, Domenico Asprone, Ferdinando Auricchio
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Further developments should be made to consider the variability in mix composition and correlated material curing properties. The diversification in 3D concrete printing technologies (e.g., building rates, time gap, pressure during extrusion, nozzle characteristics) has to be considered in future research: the fabrication of full-scale 3D concrete printed objects, equipping setup with optic measurement tools to improve the accuracy of the results, should provide data useful to validate the employment of the Burgers’ model and the early-age creep quantification.
  22. In-situ embedded PZT sensor for monitoring 3D concrete printing: application in alkali-activated fly ash-slag geopolymers” (link), Authors: Amarteja Kocherla, Tippabhotla A. Kamakshi, Kolluru V. L. Subramaniam
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Both build-up of the internal structure within the material and self-weight of the layers produce a drop in the peak conductance of the resonant peak; they produce counteracting effects on resonance frequency.
  23. (in korean)Flame Retardant Properties of Polymer Cement Mortar Mixed with Light-weight Materials for 3D Printing” (link), Authors: Bae-Geun Son, Hun Song
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “From the test result, the test specimen using silica sand and light-weight aggregate showed good flame resistance performance, and if the EVA redispersible polymer powder is applied below 5%, it shows good flame resistance performance.
  24. (in korean)Strength Characteristics in 3D-printed Concrete with Interlayer Reinforcements” (link), Authors: Jung Woo Lee, Ji-Hun Park, The Quang Bui, ⋅Changbin Jo, In-Hwan Yang
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Interlayer bonding strength of printed concrete decreased after air curing treatment was applied because interlayers of printed concrete with more pores formed by the air cu ring conditions are more vulnerable to the load.

B. Related/selected news clippings collection:

  1. PERI
    • PERI and STRABAG to Build Europe’s Largest 3D Printed Office Space with a COBOD 3D Printer” (link)
    • PERI and STRABAG print first building in Austria” (link 1) (link 2)
  2. COBOD:
    • New 3D printed houses in the United States using COBOD printers” (link)
  3. ICON
    • World’s largest 3D-printed neighbourhood to come up in Texas” (link)
    • World’s largest community of 3D-printed homes unfolds in Austin” (link)
    • World’s largest 3D-printed neighborhood to break ground in Texas” (link)
    • Building with 3D printers may hold promise for affordable housing” (link)
    • World’s Largest 3-D Home Community Set For 2022 In Austin” (link)
    • World’s largest 3D-printed neighborhood comes to Texas” (link)
    • ICON to build world’s largest community of 3D-printed houses” (link)
    • ICON, Lennar partner on largest 3D-printed community” (link)
    • BIG and ICON to create world’s “largest neighbourhood” of 3D-printed homes” (link)
  4. Coral Reefs 🙂
    • Scientists Have Created A New Technique To Regrow Damaged Coral Reefs Using 3D Printing” (link)
    • Study Explores Use of 3D Printing to Speed Up Coral Restoration” (link)
    • 3D Printing Method Improves Reef Restoration” (link)
    • 3D printing to support coral reef growth” (link)
    • Providing 3D-printed structures to help coral reefs recover faster” (link)
    • 3D printing may hold the key to saving the world’s coral reefs” (link)
    • 3D-printed coral skeletons kickstarts reef recovery” (link)
  5. (podcast)Season 2 Episode 10: Building a New Way of Living – 3D Construction Printing” (link)
  7. Construction On 3D House Closer To Being Finished” (link)
  8. Builder of World’s First 3D-Printed Park Launches Revolutionary 3D Construction Robotic Company in U.S.” (link)
  9. First 3D printed building in Austria opens the possibilities for new architecture” (link)
  10. What’s in a futuristic house? 3D printing, automation, among many others” (link)
  12. Building with 3D printers may hold promise for affordable housing” (link)
  13. Top Construction 3D Printing Companies in the World” (link)
  14. 3D Concrete Contractor Alquist Partners with Black Buffalo 3D” (link)
  15. Robots 3D print park benches, flower beds and sculptures in world first” (link)
  16. 3DStartup: From Vases to Facades—Concrete 3D On the Many Possibilities for 3D Printing With Concrete” (link)
  17. MX3D Unveils its 3D Printed Pipeline Clamp for the Oil & Gas Industry” (link)
  18. 3d-Printing Houses and Coral Reefs with Sustainable Concrete Addresses Both Housing Crisis & Climate” (link)
  19. Large scale 3d printed concrete in Gonic, NH–houses, coral, fine art…” (link)
  20. Protecting Crew and Surface Systems with a Long-Duration Lunar Safe Haven” (link)
  21. Overview of NASA’s Moon-to-Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technology (MMPACT)” (link)
  22. Top 5 Videos: 3D Printing With Neil Patrick Harris” (link)
  23. Training the key to future success of 3D printing in construction” (link)
  24. Rain Catcher 3D-Printed House Is Self-Sufficient, Makes the Most of Nature’s Resources” (link)
  25. Dubai achieves world record for first 3D-printed laboratory” (link)
  26. IIT-M startup Tvasta: India’s first 3D-printed house” (link)

Kind regards; stay 3Dposted 🙂

[NK #006] 3DCP link roundup (the plot thickens once more!)

Wishes for a pleasant start of the week, Monday’s study material coming up 😉 Wishes for a Productive Week!

Current scientific literature review sorted by:

A. Published papers:

  1. Presentation of a concrete additive manufacturing extruder with online rheology modification capabilities” (link), Authors: L. Poudelet, A. Castellví, L. Calvo, R. Cardona, R. Uceda, F. Fenollosa
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Thanks to every partner of the HINDCON project and special thanks to Phd José Antonio Tenorio Ríos (CSIC) and Phd Hélène Lombois-Burger(Lafarge). The results are obtained from the HINDCON project (H2020 under GA 723611).”
  2. On rheology of mortar with recycled fine aggregate for 3D printing” (link, news clip), Authors: Shuai Zou, Jianzhuang Xiao, Zhenhua Duan, Tao Ding, Shaodan Hou
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Since high-rate shearing were found to highly decrease the mentioned rheological parameters of 3DP mixtures, a feeding system which can provide high-rate and continuous shearing was recommended in practical printing to prolong the open time of printing mixtures.”
  3. Additive manufacturing of clay and ceramic building components” (link), Authors: Alexander Wolf, Philipp Laurens, Rosendahl, Ulrich Knaack
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Also noticeable in chapter 5.1 is the complete absence of highly specialized components with the dimensions of classic bricks. By developing such, it could be possible to integrate functions like conduit management into monolithic walls, which could be sort of an evolution to A9.”
  4. Additive manufacturing: recent trends, applications and future outlooks” (link), Authors: Manu Srivastava, Sandeep Rathee
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “This article exhaustively reviews the various AM applications in different sectors such as aerospace, repair, automobile, healthcare, retail, etc. and is aimed to provide the readers a deep insight into the probable unexplored areas through an extensive literature analysis.”
  5. Robotics technologies aided for 3D printing in construction: a review” (link), Authors: Zhen Xu, Tao Song, Shuai Guo, Jiangtao Peng, Lingdong Zeng, Mengmeng Zhu
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Therefore, the future research will deeply integrate the mobile robotics with the printing processes, building materials, and construction environments, which can truly realize a green and sustainable building construction and digital transformation.”
  6. 3D printing large scale curbed forms using heat formed coral reef tiles” (link), Authors: Marko D Jovanović, Marko P Vučić, Radovan B Štulić, Maja Petrovic
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “The use of coral reef dynamic optimization process and state recording of the shapes proved to be an excellent manner of generating a volume that has an organic looking transition, but with random fuses of cantilevering parts, removing them completely or mitigating their influence significantly.”
  7. Shaking Table Test of a Friction Sliding System on a Concrete Member with Variable Curvature Fabricated by a Three-dimensional Printer” (link), Miguel B. Brito, Mitsuyoshi Akiyama,Tetsuta Seto, Riki HondaO, Naomitsu Ishigaki
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “The proposed friction pendulum sliding system for bridge structures provides a low-cost design solution that can ensure post-event operability.”
  8. Developments in 3D Printable Composite Material” (link), Authors: Senthil Kumar, Gundluru Mahammad Wahab, Lekkala Yuva Srinivas, Aumalasetty Jaswanth, Guddeti Rama Thulasi Reddy
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “The interlayer bond strength between successive filament layers with and without nanoparticle addition is determined by the help of 4-point bending test. This is a crucial test for 3DPC, as the interlayer bond strength is typically weaker than the concrete itself. Adequate rheology can result in filament layers were merged in order to form a homogenous concrete section and it leads to resulting in stronger structures without weak interlayer bonds.”
  9. Research on desktop 3D Printing Multi-Material New Concepts” (link), Authors: F Fenollosa, R Uceda, A Tejo, L Calvo, L Poudelet, I Buj
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Revolver print-head: suitable solution if the multi-materiality is limited to filaments, using up to five different materials. It is considered impossible to combine FFF (filaments) and DIW (liquids) print-heads in a single rotating structure.”
  10. Comparison of multi-axis printing strategies effects on large-scale 3D printed surface quality” (link), Authors: Martin Krčma, David Paloušek
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Τhe combination of nonplanar trajectories and multi axis motion brings real expansion of capabilities for large scale FDM style printing. When printing large scale objects with large nozzle sizes, single line walls are often all that is necessary to achieve desired structural performance and this, combined with the limited ability of screw extruders to perform retractions, leads to the vase mode printing being a very suitable choice. Using this methods, stable wall thickness and large overhang angles of at least 75° are achievable and quality of single walled objects is increased in regards to surface roughness at overhang angles over 15° and mechanical strength, with 20% loss of maximum average delamination force for 5-axis nonplanar trajectory at 45° compared to 50% loss for 3-axis planar trajectory.”
  11. Systematic analysis of additive manufacturing for printing on semi-finished parts” (link), Authors: M Kizak1, A Matschinski, K Drechsler
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “The complied approach enables the manufacturing of hybrid components consisting of semi-finished parts with a complex surface geometry and printed segments.”
  12. Geometrically modified auxetic polyurethane foams and their potential application in impact mitigation of masonry structures” (link), Authors: Mohammad Asad, Tatheer Zahra, David P.Thambiratnam, Tommy H.T. Chan, Yan Zhuge
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Unreinforced masonry structures constructed along busy road have been vulnerable to vehicular impacts with damage to property and harm to the occupants of both the building and vehicle. This paper investigated the design and insertion of various forms of geometrically modified auxetic foam structures inside the hollow cores of block masonry walls for mitigating the adverse effects of such impacts.”

B. Books (ahem, Book -one-) 🙂

  1. Re-skilling Human Resources for Construction 4.0 (link, link)
    • [ISBN: 978-3-030-85972-5] “Explores the technologies of Construction 4.0 such as BIM, robotics, 3D printing and drones. Enables stakeholders to develop the skills needed for construction 4.0, especially in developing countries. Demonstrates that Industry 4.0 has transformed the construction industry with smart and sustainable technologies.”

C. Dissertations / Theses 🙂

  1. Does 3D printing have a future in the construction industry and could it be a disruptive technology?” (link)
    • The end consumer will probably adopt a 3D printed house one day. However, the day when individuals will have a 3D printer to build their own house is not in the near future.”
  2. 3D Printer Integrated with emerging technologies” (link)
  3. 3D Printed Concrete Block with Steel Reinforcements” (link)

D. Company_sorted-wise (in alphabetical order):


  • COBOD Customers Build Three New 3D Printed Houses in the US” (link)
  • 3 new AM houses being completed in the US by COBOD customers” (link)


  • Holcim partners with shelter organizations” (link)


  • How Much Do 3D-Printed Homes Cost?” (link)
  • Lennar To Build World’s Largest Neighborhood Of 3D-Printed Homes With ICON” (link)
  • ICON teams up with Lennar for 100-home 3D printed community” (link)
  • 3D-printed houses poised to go mainstream” (link)
  • Homebuilder hopes 3D printing will solve worker shortages, tests tech in 100 homes” (link)
  • 3-D Printed Houses Are Sprouting Near Austin as Demand for Homes Grows” (link)
  • 3-D printed houses popping up around Austin, Texas amid surging demand” (link)
  • A neighborhood of 100 3D-printed homes is coming to Austin in 2022” (link)
  • Skilled Tradesmen Are A Dying Breed’: Companies Team Up To Build 100 3D Printed Homes Amid Supply Chain Shortages” (link)
  • 3D-printed homes are emerging near Austin as housing demand grows” (link)
  • “ICON to build largest ever neighborhood of 3D printed homes in Austin” (link)
  • “Texas startup building largest 3D printed home communicty in US” (link)
  • ICON’s 3D Printing Construction Technology to Build 100 New Homes in Texas” (link)
  • U.S. to Have the Largest Neighborhood of 3D-Printed Homes, Construction Starts in 2022” (link)
  • BIG and ICON team up once again on a 3D-printed hundred-home design for Texas’ rapidly changing state capital” (link)
  • ICON Just Unveiled Plans for a Massive Neighborhood of 3D-Printed Homes in Austin, Texas” (link)

E. Related/selected news clippings collection:

  1. 3D-printed houses poised to go mainstream” (link)
  2. What role will 3D printing play in the construction industry?” (link)
  3. MAA’VA aspires to help create safe havens for the homeless with its 3D printable eco-concrete” (link)
  4. Concrete printing trialled on HS2 can turn construction into a manufacturing process” (link)
  5. 3-D Printed Houses: Myth or Reality?” (link)
  6. Additive Manufacturing – Everything You Need to Know” (link)
  7. QUT designs 3D-printed product to protect buildings from impact damage” (link)
  8. Sectoral Policies to Drive Productivity Growth” (link)
  9. Coalition Explores The Future Of Alternative Housing In Nome” (link)

F. Very interesting prospects… (personal choice/suggestions):

  1. Innovation Strategy of 3D Printing in Industrial Design Based on Vision Sensor” (link)
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Based on the related theory of vision sensor 3D printing, this paper studies the application of 3D printing technology in industrial product design and direct manufacturing, proposes a free design method for 3D printing, carries out innovation and free design of mechanical parts structure, and verifies the feasibility of processing.”
  2. Achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the cement industry via value chain mitigation strategies” (link)
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “Current 3D printing applications are unfortunately utilized predominately for esthetics and usually would consume more cement than a conventional concrete structure. More work is clearly needed to verify beneficial designs.”
  3. Challenges in the microwave heating of lunar regolith – analysis through the design of a Microwave Heating Demonstrator (MHD) payload” (link)
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “This paper discusses some non-negligible phenomena during the microwave heating of lunar regolith, which need to be considered for future mission applications.”
  4. The Newtonian gravity of irregular shapes using STL files and 3D printing” (link)
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “A deep understanding of the link between the gravity and the shape is quite important to interpret some basic facts of nature. In this paper, we show how simple concepts can be used to create a more general algorithm that has been implemented in matlab to compute the gravity of irregular bodies.”
  5. Design and construction of a test bench for the manufacture and on-machine non-contact inspection of parts obtained by Fused Filament Fabriction” (link)
    • Selected quote/point of interest: “The test bench is provided with independent controllers for both the 3D printing and the inspection subsystems, but also with a top level control software that enables a coordinated working of both subsystems to make it possible to digitize a layer after being deposited and to continue then producing the part. Robustness and accessibility were some constructive criteria but also the use of technology similar to that of a commercial FFF 3D printer.”

You’ve made it to the End; hoorah! hat-off.. until the next time 😉

Stay 3Dposted!

[NK #005] 3DCP link roundup (with a twist this time!)

Served below are tidbits of Knowledge & relevant (useful!) news; let’s see how this plays out 🙂

Wishes for a Pleasant & Productive Week!

A. Current scientific literature review:

  1. Influence of phase change material on concrete behavior for construction 3D printing“, Authors: Qamar Shahzad, Junyi Shen, Rabia Naseem, Yonggang Yao, Saad Waqar, Wenqiang Liu (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> justified/proven cost-effectiveness of optimized material when used for the C3DP process.
  2. Bending behaviour of steel cable reinforced 3D printed concrete in the direction perpendicular to the interfaces“, Authors: Jianzhuang Xiao, Zixuan Chen, Tao Ding, Shuai Zou (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> The reinforcement method proposed in this study greatly improved the bending behaviour of 3DPC specimens in the direction perpendicular to the interfaces.
  3. Shear-thickening behavior of sustainable cement paste — Controlling physical parameters of new sources of supplementary cementitious materials“, Authors: Houssam Kemer, Rachid Bouras, Noureddine Mesboua, Mohammed Sonebi, Oliver Kinnane (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> …. three main contributions: (i) Based on the win–win concept, low evolution on shear thickening (n = 1.31 max) of sustainable cement pastes based new sources of SCMs (CD and CB) has been registered compared to previous researches under same conditions, with addition of the environmental impact including its carbon footprint reduction without forgetting less energy associated with proposed SCMs production; (ii) The ability to correlate the physical parameters of SCMs and SP type with shear-thickening intensity; (iii) a significant information and data for optimal concrete design and their application.
  4. Expansive cementitious materials to improve micro-cable reinforcement bond in 3D concrete printing“, Authors: Zhijian Li, Guowei Ma, Fang Wang, Li Wang, Jay Sanjayan (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> …. this study pioneers a technique to simultaneously include a liquid agent and a solid reinforcement into concrete filaments during the 3D printing process. It paves a new route for multi-deposition in 3D concrete printing.
  5. 3D printable concrete with natural and recycled coarse aggregates: Rheological, mechanical and shrinkage behaviour“, Authors: A.V. Rahul, Manu K. Mohan, Geert De Schutter, Kim Van Tittelboom (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> …. coarse aggregates can be successfully utilized in printable concrete formulations to achieve economic benefits and improve shrinkage cracking resistance. For lower replacement levels (30 vol % considered in the current study), the use of recycled aggregates can be a good alternative to using natural aggregates without causing a significant reduction in mechanical properties.
  6. Fresh and hardened properties of 3D printable polymer fibre-reinforced high-performance cementitious composite“, Authors: Luong Pham, Biranchi Panda, Phuong Tran (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> …. The presence of fibre with relatively small volume fraction (0.2%) leads to a noticeable increase in yield stress, flow loss and green strength.
  7. Mechanical anisotropy of ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concrete for 3D printing“, Authors: Yekai Yang, Chengqing Wu, Zhongxian Liu, Hailiang Wang, Quanchang Ren (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … the effect of steel fibre content and length, preparation method, and loading direction on the mechanical properties of 3DP-UHPFRC was evaluated through the compressive, flexural, splitting tensile, and uniaxial tensile tests, and the anisotropy of 3DP-UHPFRC was analysed.
  8. 3-D Printer Robot for Civil Construction: A Bond Graph Approach“, Authors: V. Khandelwal, V. Bhatia, V. Dogra, S. Sharma, V. Chhabra, R. Singh, D. Kumar, T. K. Bera (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … Three lead screws will provide the movement in the vertical as well as in horizontal directions and a nozzle connected to the horizontal lead screw will be used for pouring the construction-material layer by layer. Thereafter, structural analysis using Finite Element Method (FEM) has been done on critical parts like lead screw and top plate. Bond graphs for buggy and overall lead screw system have also been used to analyze the response of the system.
  9. DFAB HOUSE: implications of a building-scale demonstrator for adoption of digital fabrication in AEC“, Authors: Konrad Graser, Aniko Kahlert, Daniel M. Hall (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … Using Qualitative Content Analysis, we provide an overview of the challenges to consider and the strategies available to successfully adopt DFAB technologies in construction projects, establishing a socio-technical framework for DFAB adoption in AEC projects.
  10. Statistical analysis of sustainable geopolymer concrete“, Authors: Y.S.N. Kishore, Sai Geeta Devi, Nadimpalli, Ashish Kumar Potnuru, Jayaprakash Vemuri, Mohd Ataullah Khan (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … Due to the alkaline activators’ sticky nature leading to an improved bond strength, geopolymer cements have attracted extrusion-based concrete 3D printing industry and also an increased paste to aggregate bond strength is observed in geopolymer based concrete.
  11. A study on thermal behaviour of a 3D printer and extruded material with thermal imaging method“, Authors: Serdar Arhan, Semih Yilmaz, Kerim Deniz Kaya, Kubilay Bayramoglu (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … thermal behaviour and temperature distribution between printed deposition material, printing platform and 3D printing components are obtained concerning time.
  12. Large Particle 3D Concrete Printing—A Green and Viable Solution“, Authors: Inka Mai ,Leon Brohmann, Niklas Freund, Stefan Gantner, Harald Kloft, Dirk Lowke, Norman Hack (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … the surface finishing of the edges using subtractive milling allows for the production of precise visual and functional surfaces, and offers a good contrast to the otherwise rough surfaces delivered with the LP3DCP process.
  13. Application of 3D Printing Technology in the Mechanical Testing of Complex Structural Rock Masses“, Authors: Yingjie Xia, Qingkun Meng, Chuanqing Zhang, Ning Liu, Zhenxing Zhao, Jun Chen, Gao Yang (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … Due to the size effect of rock masses and anisotropic characteristics of the 3D printed specimens, it is necessary for the 3D printers to have high precision, be able to print large specimens, be suitable for long-term printing, and have the capability to print using different types of materials.
  14. Mobile 3D Printing Robot Simulation with Viscoelastic Fluids“, Authors: Uljad Berdica, Yuewei Fu, Yuchen Liu, Emmanouil Angelidis, Chen Feng (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … This new approach to simulation solves the computationally costly bottlenecks of mesh-based simulation by adding an external meshing module which lets the user choose the implicit surface generation method and the resolution.
  15. Incorporation of Phase Change Materials and Application of 3D Printing Technology in the Geopolymer Development“, Author: Ahmed Nmiri (link)
    • Chapter in “Advances in Geopolymer-Zeolite Composites – Synthesis and Characterization
  16. Fresh properties of 3D printed mortar with recycled powder“, Authors: Shaodan Hou, Jianzhuang Xiao, Zhenhua Duan, Guowei Ma (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … The flowability, open time, penetration resistance stress, mechanical properties, hydration heat, extrudability and buildability of fresh 3DPM have been intensively studied.
  17. Rheology of fresh cement pastes modified with nanoclay-coated cements“, Authors: AlaEddin Douba, Siwei Ma, Shiho Kawashima (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … NC increases C–S–H growth and potentially surface-based C–S–H nucleation, which corresponds to increased rigidification and stiffness. The effect of NC on static yield stress, storage modulus and its storage modulus evolution can lead to high buildability and shape stability for 3DCP.
  18. Advanced honeycomb designs for improving mechanical properties: A review“, Authors: Chang Qi, Feng Jiang, Shu Yang (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … The novel honeycombs with advanced designs have high stiffness, strength and energy absorption, low mass density, and large range of Poisson’s ratio under different load conditions.
  19. A review on the energy absorption response and structural applications of auxetic structures“, Authors: Matheus Brendon Francisco, João Luiz Junho Pereira, Guilherme Antônio Oliver, Lucas Ramon Roque da Silva, Sebastião Simões Cunha Jr, Guilherme Ferreira Gomes (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … This manuscript has more than 150 papers as a reference about energy absorption of auxetic structures and shows how several authors have approached the subject and how research in this field has progressed.
  20. Hierarchical alignment of 3D print with tool path based on microstructure“, Authors: Yifan Yang, Yutaka Ohtake, Tatsuya Yatagawa, Hiromasa Suzuki (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … The proposed method first estimates the build direction and then aligns the 3D print with the tool path along the build direction. Finally, each layer of the 3D print is aligned with its corresponding layer of the tool path in the horizontal direction. The alignment result can be confirmed through the slice view.
  21. Effect of vibratory mixing on the slump, compressive strength, and density of concrete with the different mix proportions“, Authors: Kaiyin Zhao, Lijun Zhao, Jinru Hou, Xiaobo Zhang, Zhongxu Feng, Shimin Yang (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … The dispersion of vibration mixing on the cement particles increased the workability, uniformity, and density without decreasing the compressive strength of concrete. The effect of vibratory mixing is more significant for the slump of concrete with a high w/c ratio and compressive strength of concrete with a low w/c ratio.
  22. Mechanisms and Mechanics of Bonding in 3D Printed Materials Systems based on Traditional Mould Materials“, Authors: Solaman B. Selvaraj, Sarat Singamneni (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … There is a notable deviation could be observed comparing the compressive strength at three different states.
  23. Advanced 3D Textile Applications for the Building Envelope“, Authors: Claudia Lüling, Petra Rucker-Gramm, Agnes Weilandt, Johanna Beuscher, Dominik Nagel, Jens Schneider, Andreas Maier, Hans-Jürgen Bauder, Timo Weimer (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … Frankfurt UAS’s projects demonstrate new options for sustainable, lightweight and highly functional building elements for the future.
  24. Promising Sustainable Models Toward Water, Air, and Solid Sustainable Management in the View of SDGs“, Authors: Islam A. Abdelhafeez, Seeram Ramakrishna (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … In line with the view of the 2030 SDGs, we proposed some sustainable models that provide strategic solutions to keep up the energy demand and prevent environmental damage.
  25. Acoustic Emission Monitoring of the Powder Bed Fusion Process with Machine learning“, MSc Thesis, by Mohammad Ghayoomi Mohammadi (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … this thesis suggested multiple machine learning algorithms for pattern recognition and classification with the goal of defect detection, such as detecting cracks and porosities.
  26. 3D Printing in the Context of Cloud Manufacturing“, Authors: Jin Cui, Lei Ren, Jingeng Mai, Pai Zheng, Lin Zhang (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … The research will provide a valuable theoretical and practical reference to the future development and deployment of 3D printing clouds, and promote a novel 3D printing business model in a service-oriented manner to achieve mass customization in Industry 4.0.
  27. Digital Technology in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry: Research trend and Practical Status towards Construction 4.0“, Authors: Kaiyang Wang, Fangyu Guo, Cheng Zhang, Jianli Hao, Dirk Schaefer (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … In this study, multiple databases were utilized to identify 65 technologies applied in the AEC industry. Based on the Scopus database, the top ten technologies that have been mostly researched from 2010 to 2021 are presented, including BIM, AI, 3D Printing, Machine Learning, IoT, GIS, VR, Big Data, Robotics and AR.
  28. Review on 3D Printing and its Applications in Engineering“, Authors: Priyank Kothari, Gaurav Parate, Chinmay Kulkarni, Nilakshi Soitkar, Girish Khot (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … Compared to the increasing sales every year, and 3D printing still under development, it cannot be considered as a substitute to the traditional methods, but for sure can be considered as a lending hand to the traditional methods. The skills required to carry out the processes must be addressed if people look at additive manufacturing as a replacement to the traditional methods. These skills are vital and should be nurtured, partnerships from universities and workshops and training programmes are one of the few ways to make sure that the skilled and talented group of people is built.
  29. Remote 3D Printing for the Integration of Clay-based Materials in Sustainable Architectural Fabrication“, Authors: Yomna K. Abdallah, Secil Afsar, Alberto T. Estévez, Oleg Popov (link), Chapter in the book “Renewable Energy for Mitigating Climate Change
  30. Adaptive Concrete 3D Printing Based on industrial Robotics“, Author: Ruiming Hu (link), MSc Thesis
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … 6 FUTURE WORK AND RECOMMENDATIONS: “6.1 robot control” Real-time control (RTC) of industrial robot is able to update trajectory in real-time depending on the features of printed object which can reduce the errors that came from the difference between actual object and desired object. This process could be implemented by TCP or UDP communication protocol or robot control system (ROS) based on these to send motion instructions to the robot in real-time. Also, KUKA industry provides some add-on package on controller, such as robot sensor interface (RSI) or Ethernet KRL interface (EKI) to help customers to simplify this development process. This real-time control of industrial robot could help robot to complete basic pick-and-place task in manufacturing scenario based on a vision input. (L. Rogers, H. J. Vermaak, 2017) and even Human-robot physical interaction and collaboration (Milad Geravand, et al, 2013). Incomparison, it requires high response speed and accuracy in 3D printing scenario. As the result, the time delay between sending command and execution of robot need to be considered.
  31. Acoustic behaviour of 3D-printable cement mortarts functionalized with recycled tire rubber aggregates“, Authors: Matteo Sambucci, Marco Valente (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> … The viscoelastic nature of rubber aggregates enhances the material’s damping, resulting in lightweight cementitious compounds with improved sound insulation behaviour. In this regard, particles size gradation is crucial.
  32. Effect of A Novel Shrinkage-reducing Polycarboxylate Superplasticizer on Plastic Shrinkage Cracking of Mortars“, Authors: Jian Zhang, Yuefeng Ma, Haixin Zhao, Jiaping Liu, Zhangli Hu, Hua Li, Kangchen Wang, Lingzheng Wu (link)
  33. Effect of supplementary cementitious materials on viscosity of cement-based pastes“, Authors: Ivan Navarrete, Yahya Kurama, Nestor Escalona, Wernher Brevis, Mauricio Lopez (link)
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> .. The viscosity of the cementitious paste is more affected by the solid volume fraction, which is determined by the water-to-cementitious materials ratio, than by the properties of the cementitious particles. The interparticle force is a good predictor of the bonding strength of cementitious particles, and the combined effect of particle number density and solid volume fraction is a good estimator of the amount of contact points of this network, which explains most of the observed variability in the viscosity of cementitious paste. The viscosity of cementitious paste is more affected by the number of contact points between the cementitious particles than the interparticle force between them. The interparticle force is influenced by the surface roughness and sphericity of the cementitious materials.
  34. 3D Printing/Addictive Manufacturing“, Author: Omoseni Adepoju (link), Chapter in the book “Re-skilling Human Resources for Construction 4.0”
    • Selected take-away key point (highlighted interesting point a.k.a. “why should you care“) –> .. For the construction industry to fully implement 3D printing, there is a need for reskilling and upskilling. Effective adoption of this technology requires both soft and technical skills. These include software designing, modelling, graphics, safety management, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, finishing and intellectual property protection.

B. Related/selected news clippings collection:

  1. “3D printed construction startup Tvasta receives Rs 3 cr investment” (link)
    • Quote: According to UN-Habitat, an estimated 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing today, with global demand for affordable housing growing by 4000 units every hour. In order to reach more low-income households, Tvasta is working with the Government of India through its “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana” (Housing for All) initiative, which aims to build 20 million urban and rural homes for low-income families by 2022.
  2. Off-the-Shelf Bioplastic Helps 3D Print Geometric Shapes to Mimic Auxetic Materials” (link)
    • Quote: …the energy absorption would be corresponding to a thick reinforced composite protective render measuring around 20 mm over a full-scale building wall. This could possibly resist the impact force of a car traveling at 60 km/hour.
  3. Can startups build a better construction industry?” (link)
    • Quote: The key to success is usefulness: The construction industry is stubborn, Strupule says, so it’s vital for startups to base their businesses in real use cases and solutions that give concrete results. This also leaves room for new players to collaborate with corporates — as long as startups are ready to provide tangible results.
  4. Innovative 3D printed ‘fungi home’ and Apis Cor’s ‘IMpreza’ score big at architecture awards” (link)
    • Quote: Australian architecture firm Simulaa and Boston-based construction company Apis Cor have gained prestigious local awards for the innovative designs behind their latest 3D printed housing projects.
  5. The first 3D concrete printing scientific laboratory in the Baltics is opened, created by RTU in cooperation with Ltd. Sakret” (link)
  6. A First in Turkey! İmamoğlu Visited the Building Built with 3D Printer” (link)
    • Quote: Stating that İSTON has been conducting the study for a long time, İmamoğlu said, “Actually, we are talking about a very new application in terms of technology. A first in Turkey. Very precious and valuable. As someone who comes from this sector, I can feel that such a practice, such a fast manufacturing capability is very valuable.”

In a future (maybe even.. next?) iteration of our common journey/endeavor, I will be (potentially/tentatively) presenting *one* piece of scientific literature and *why* it is important for All (of Us) to know and apply… 3D Construction Printing-wise 🙂

Stay 3Dposted!

System Approach to 3DCP: Profitability through Process Optimization


A severe labor shortage and rapid urbanization have created a growing need for construction automation. Various tools and methods such as Digital construction, prefab, and 3DCP (3D Concrete Printing) are available for automating construction activities. These tools were invented decades ago, but 3D-Printed homes have become popular in recent years. Around the world, few builders are implementing 3DCP for the construction of houses and small buildings. Due to the cost of material and production issues, 3D printing houses is still not profitable. The public excitement has facilitated initial sales, but the early adopters are struggling to make an ROI (Return on Investment). This lack of profitability force prospective construction companies to turn away from the technology. A new technology to become mainstream, a critical adoption rate must be reached. If not, investments will dry out and the technology may get phased out. Construction automation is a pioneering field, there is no clear path to profitability. Most, if not all, early adopters of 3DCP are not making an ROI. The current automation practice is inefficient, process optimization could be a way to make 3DCP cost-competitive.

Automation was first introduced by the manufacturing sector, over the years various methodologies were used to improving the efficiency of automation. According to a 2020 McKinsey & company report, manufacturing productivity increased by 60% in last 25 years. It was the result of various improvements made in the process design (eg: Lean, SCM etc.) – robots are used for automating a process. As productivity increased, manufactured goods became cheaper. In contrast, construction productivity grew by 1% year over year for last two decades. The cost of construction is also going up. The current construction process is not compatible with automation. Since construction requires the coordination of different activities, automating it becomes complex. The construction automation companies often overlook the complex nature of the construction process. This is a reason for the high cost of 3D printed construction. Construction 3D printers are expensive, to make the initial investment worthwhile, utilization of the machines should be maximized. For this, the construction process should be optimized. There are various engineering methodologies available for optimizing processes. Systems engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the management of complex processes. System Approach is a methodology in systems engineering that can be applied to manage complex processes like construction.

System Approach to Automated construction

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design, integrate, and manage complex systems over their life cycle. Some terminologies are;

System: A system is the set of principles or procedures according to which a process is done – the construction process is a system.

Sub-system: Individual elements of a system that work together to create the system

System Approach addresses one problem by considering the whole picture; the problem will be analyzed in its environment. The construction process (system) includes various activities (sub-systems) such as site work, foundation, MEP, and all other related jobs. Applying automation without considering the interfaces between these sub-systems makes the process more complex and costly. This is a major reason for the production issues faced by the early adopters of 3DCP. This article discusses the application of system approach for the development of a new construction procedure that leverages multiple automation techniques. 3DCP and prefab are two construction automation methods with complementing characteristics. A process that integrates the elements of both methods could be an optimized construction process. The management and control of such a process can be handled by leveraging digital construction tools. Integration of 3DCP, Prefab and digital construction into a single construction project will be a complex endeavor. Systems approach can be apt for developing this kind of complex process. Figure 1 illustrate the different phases of System Approach to 3DCP, in the following sections, the various phases are discussed in detail.

Figure 1: System Approach Phases

Analyze: Know your problem inside out

System Approach to automated construction is an orderly process that starts with an analysis phase. The main activity during this phase is conducting a comprehensive study on the construction process and automation techniques. The objective is to identify the opportunities for automation and predict its effects on the overall productivity of construction.  

Implementation of new technology is challenging. To develop an automated construction process, the capabilities and limitations of the technology should be understood. The objective of the analysis phase is to collect as much information as possible. It will require deep and exhaustive research into problems and solutions. Some outcomes of analysis into 3DCP would be.

  • Different 3DCP machines and printing mixes will be compared on price and properties. This will help to identify the most economical and robust system that can be implemented.
  • Printing strategies like in-situ and print to assemble will be analyzed on their practical and economic benefits. The strategy with the best economics will be selected.
  • The effects of 3D- Printed wall systems on other related works such as MEP or Finishing will be studied, all possible challenges and available options will be listed out.

The above list is not comprehensive, the analysis will cover all topics related to the construction process. This comprehensive study will help to identify the complementarity of various practices and technologies. Building a house or other structures involves 3rd party inspections and permits. The data collected for the analysis phase will help educate the 3rd parties and authorities about the viability and security of the automation processes. More data will help to substantiate the claims in front of permitting/licensing authorities. By the end of the first phase, all stakeholders in a construction project and their interests will be identified. To improve productivity a collective effort of all stakeholders is necessary. System approach to construction automation is an attempt to bring process improvement by creating harmony between various activities on and off the construction field.

Design Phase: An overview of the solution

The analysis phase will be followed by a Design phase. During this phase, a construction process that utilizing automation will start to take shape. The specifications and scope of the process will be decided in this phase of system approach. The design of the system will contain the following elements.

  • The Objectives: Based on the information gathered during the analysis phase, the goals of the new system will be decided. It will be a high-level description, for example, the objective of the system can be constructing a custom-designed house in 6 weeks and at a cost 30% cheaper than to traditional process.
  • The process diagram: A high-level diagram showing major subsystems and the process flow. Process diagram will provide a system-level understanding of various interfaces in the system.
  • A brief description of the process: The design should contain a high-level description of the process and the inter-relations between various sub-systems. This description will be the written form of the process diagram. It should also mention the method of implementation.
  • Success factors: A criteria for evaluation of the process should be decided at this phase. The system must satisfy a set of minimum requirements to be considered viable. Success factors can be revisited at any point to evaluate the progression of the system approach.

By the end of the design phase, a rough picture of the final system will be generated. In the next phase, this high-level design will turn into a detailed construction procedure.

Develop: How to achieve the objectives?

In the development phase, a detailed construction process will be created; detailed procedure describing the start to finish of the construction process. The skeleton from the design phase will provide the guideline for this phase. Developing the system requires a wide range of expertise in various construction activities. The systems engineer should know about construction 3D printing, conventional construction, structural and architectural design, and all other activities. During this phase, all the details of the automated construction process will be finalized. The development process involves the following.

  • Selection of the technologies and machines required for the construction job.
  • Necessary licenses and contracts will also be secured.
  • Development of new construction practices – if required
  • Creation of the procedure for the construction process.
  • Identification of the risk factors in the process and risk mitigation measures.
  • Calculating all required resources and planning their allocation.
  • Creation of required standards and performance measuring criteria.
  • Creation of training for all the stakeholders.

People involved in the development process should have a broad knowledge of various construction automation techniques. The development team should be both optimistic and skeptical during the development process. The team should include a skeptic of construction automation. This will help to identify the risk factors in the process. As the development progress, the original design may get changed. The initial understanding of the technologies may change and goals will have to be adjusted. Developing a system consist of various technologies is demanding. The efficiency of workflow in such a system will depend on the smoothness of the interfaces between various subsystems. Achieving this smoothness is the primary function of system approach. A construction project can be finished in multiple ways, but to create profitability the process should be as efficient as possible. Things may not go as planned when implementing new technology, multiple iterations may be required to find the right way of doing things. Multiple validations and revisions should be carried out during the development phase; correcting a mistake during development is easier than doing it during implementation.

Implement: time to break the ground

 In this phase, the plans created in the development phase will be excicuted. Even though this article is mainly discussing 3DCP, the scope of systems approach to automated construction includes everything from architectural design to completing the house. The first step in the implementation is implementing the required training. All the stakeholders should be capable to perform the respective duties at the efficiency required by the system design.  

Innovative design is often overrated and the difficulties of producing the design are overlooked. Production phase is the most demanding phase of innovation. Similarly in the system approach, previous phases were just conducting research and making calculations. But during implementation, the plans should be executed according to the calculations. Even in conventional construction, it is hard to execute every aspect of the project according to the plan. Most construction projects will burn more cash than the initial budget. Unexpected delays and problems are the nature of building construction, during the implementation of new technology these problems can get worse. The efficiency of the system approach will be decided by the performance of the designed system during the implementation phase. The different automation tools such as 3DCP and Digital construction must perform in real-world conditions. One important thing is to make records of the actual performance of the construction process. The records are made for each activity and technology used in the process. This documentation is important for improving the System Approach. Even after extensive research and planning there is a good chance for the process to be flawed. The initial projects will testify for the efficacy of the system approach, failure to achieve the objectives are indication of mistakes in the previous phases. Since it is the early days of construction automation, the projects can be plagued with unplanned problems. If a building project cannot be finished as per the plan, the plans may have to be changed in the middle of the implementation phase. Finishing each project and handing over them to the customers should be the primary focus during the implementation phase. Corrections to the system will be made in the next cycle. Customer satisfaction is important for the proliferation of 3D-Printed houses.

Evaluate and improve

Systems approach to automated construction is a continuous process, with each project the construction process will get better. Evaluation of the process occurs at every point of the system approach. Before moving from one phase to the next, the performance and direction of the methodology will be evaluated. It helps to keep the focus of the system development process. By the end of the implementation phase, all the performance data of the system will be available.  After the conclusion of the Implementation phase, a comprehensive evaluation of the system will be conducted to identify the root causes for the problems. Even if the system performance is satisfactory, an evaluation will search for improvement opportunities.

The last phase in the system approach is to adjust the construction process for improvements. Like evaluation, improvements can be made at every point of the system approach. There is a lack of examples for automated construction projects, only a few automated building projects have been completed. Each project is a learning opportunity, improvements will be made to the process each time a house is built. Initially, the improvements will be of noticeable magnitude but after dozens of projects, the process will get perfected. Eventually, standards and benchmarks will be created for construction automation. There is a huge gap between the effectiveness of automation in manufacturing and construction. For comparison, an average car can be built in 30 hours, but automated construction projects still take months to finish. If construction can reach vehicle manufacturing productivity, an average home be finished in few weeks. By using a system approach, the effectiveness of automation can be improved.

System approach can be applied to the whole construction industry, it will create new practices and tools by considering the whole picture. Implementing a system approach in the designing and manufacturing of 3D printers and related systems will create machines that can perform better in real-world applications.

More lessons from Manufacturing

Automation was created to improve the productivity of manufacturing plants. Today most of the manufacturing plants are fully automated. Industrial automation is a billion-dollar industry. When applying automation to the construction sector, the process improvement philosophies of manufacturing should not be neglected. Manufacturing processes are being improved continuously for increasing efficiency. Factories have come a long way from the automated spinning mills of the eighteenth century. Automated manufacturing has made products cheaper and factory floors safer. Over the years, various production philosophies such as Lean, Six-sigma, Toyota Production System, Kaizen, etc. were developed for optimizing the processes. On seeing the process efficiency in manufacturing, other industries adopted some of these methodologies for designing better processes.

The initial investment for automation is huge, to make ROI the machines should be in production mode as much as possible. At present, the construction automation machines are in a state of storage or idle for most of the time. Machines are made for operation, whenever a machine is not working it is not returning the investment. Construction is an old trade, the processes were designed for human labor. To construction automation profitable, the process must be made compatible for automating. A construction process that utilizes the 3D printers to the maximum extend has to be developed. The operation of such a process may require an entirely new supply chain. By utilizing the process optimization methodology the automated construction can be made more cost-competitive.

[NK #004] 3DCP link roundup (week-end edition!)

Special (selected) homework study material for All of us 🙂

ARelated current scientific literature collection:

  1. Carbonaceous admixtures in cementitious building materials: Effect of particle size blending on rheology, packing, early age properties and processing energy demand
    • Souradeep Gupta, Jean-Marc Tulliani, Harn WeiKua – link
  2. Computational Frameworks for Multi-Robot Cooperative 3D Printing and Planning” (PhD Thesis)
    • Laxmi Prasad Poudel – link
  3. 3D Concrete Printing: A Road Map for future of Automated Construction in India
    • Raman Shaw, Kundan K. MauryaandProf. Damodar Maity – link
  4. Working with Randomness: A Perspective on Using Spatial Statistics to Engineer the Mechanics of Heterogenous Materials
    • Mija H. Hubler, Zahraa H. Alquraini – link
  5. Advanced Design for Manufacturing Processes
    • Special issue – link
  6. A Study on the Analysis of the Trend of installations Using 3D Printing Technique
    • Kim, Ji Min, Lee, Tae Hee – link
  7. A state of the art on the future of 3D printing Smart technology and its impact on the infrastructure industry
    • Avinash Varma K – link

Wishes for a pleasant weekend to All.

Stay 3Dposted 🙂

[NK #003] 3DCP link roundup

Dear All Brave who come forth and enter the abaton (for now) of what is … Construction Automation applied 🙂

This is the 3rd installment of our current journey; let’s see where it leads…

ARelated/selected news clippings collection:

  1. Construction begins on CYBE’s first 3D-printed homes in the Carribean” – link
  2. A scaled down medieval irrigation system 3D printed in concrete” – link
  3. The world’s first 3D-printed parkour park is unveiled in Prague” – link
  4. Concrete industry Brievengat ‘prints’ homes with 3D concrete printer” – link
  5. Basingstoke start-up proposes tunnel-spraying bots” – link
  6. Could Future Offices be 3D Printed by Robots?” – link
  7. Biggest 3D-Printing Home Opportunity I’v ever seen…” – link
  8. The ‘World’s Longest’ 3D-Printed Concrete Bridge Erected in The Netherlands” – link
  9. Retrotechtacular: 3D-printed buildings, 1930s style” – link
  10. Australia’s first ‘digital’ construction management degree to commence in 2022” – link
  11. How a new construction technology could save two thirds of concrete” – link

BRelated current scientific literature collection:

  1. Modelling the interlayer bond strength of 3D printed concrete with surface moisture
    • Gerrit Marius Moelich, Jacques Kruger, Riaan Combrinck – link
  2. Incremental viscoelasticity at finite strains for the modelling of 3D concrete printing
    • Boumediene Nedjar – link
  3. Developing Mix Proportions for Class C Fly Ash-Based Alkali-Activated 3D-Printed Concrete Mixtures
    • Fareh Abudawaba, Eslam Gomaa, Ahmed Gheni, Mohamed ElGawady – link
  4. Effect of autogenous shrinkage on microcracking and mass transport properties of concrete containing supplementary cementitious materials
    • M.H.N. Yio, M.J. Mac, Y.X. Yeow, H.S. Wong, N.R. Buenfeld- link
  5. Industry 4.0 in a project context: Introducing 3D printing in construction projects
    • Nils O.E. Olsson, Emrah Arica, Ruth Woods, Javier Alonso Madrid – link
  6. Synergies on rheology and structural build-up of fresh cement pastes with nanoclays, nanosilica and viscosity modifying admixtures
    • Hugo Varela, Gonzalo Barluenga, Irene Palomar, Alberto Sepulcre – link
  7. Evaluation of zeta potential of calcined clays and time-dependent flowability of blended cements with customized polycarboxylate-based superplasticizers
    • Ricarda Sposito, Matthias Maier, Nancy Beuntner, Karl-Christian Thienel- link
  8. Bottom-up approaches to engineered living materials: Challenges and future directions
    • Sara Molinari, Robert F. Tesoriero Jr., Caroline M. Ajo-Franklin- link
  9. 3D Printing Mudrocks: Experiments in Validating Clay as a Build Material for 3D Printing Porous Micromodels
    • Franciszek Hasiuk, Chris Harding- link
  10. The Algorithm and Application of Fast Surface Slice and Color Acquisition for Color 3D Printing
    • Yang Xiao, Yi Yang, Yi Wang- link
  11. A Drone-Assisted 3D Printing by Crane Structures in Construction Industry
    • Fabio Parisi, Agostino Marcello Mangini, Maria Pia Fanti; Nicola Parisi- link
  12. Short-duration near-nozzle mixing for 3D concrete printing
    • Nan Zhang, Ming Xia, Jay Sanjayan – link
  13. Rheology and shrinkage of concrete using polypropylene fiber for 3D concrete printing
    • Mien V. Tran, Yen T.H. Cua, Chau V.H. Le – link
  14. Numerical simulation of multi‐layer 3D concrete printing
    • Jon Spangenberg, Wilson Ricardo Leal da Silva, Raphaël Comminal, Md. Tusher Mollah, Thomas Juul Andersen, Henrik Stang – link
  15. The effect of using polypropylene fibers on the durability and fire resistance of concrete
    • Hassan Suiffi, Anas El Maliki, Fatima Majid, Omar Cherkaoui – link
  16. Pumping of Flowable Concrete: Analytical Prediction and Experimental Validation
    • Rami Khatib and Kamal H. Khayat – link
  17. Cost–Benefit Analysis and Environmental Impact Assessment of 3D Printing Applications in Building Construction in Oman
    • Vineet Tirth, Syed Waheedullah Ghori – link
  18. Influence of supplementary cementitious materials, curing conditions and mixing ratios on fresh and mechanical properties of engineered cementitious composites – A review
    • N.Shanmugasundaram, S.Praveenkumar- link
  19. What Did You Add to My Additive Manufacturing Data? Steganographic Attacks on 3D Printing Files
    • Mark Yampolskiy, Lynne Graves, Jacob Gatlin – link
  20. Evaluation of interlayer bonding in layered composites based on non-destructive measurements and machine learning: Comparative analysis of selected learning algorithms
    • Sławomir Czarnecki, Łukasz Sadowski, Jerzy Hoła – link
  21. Digital fabrication of eco-friendly ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete
    • Arun R. Arunothayan, Behzad Nematollahi, Ravi Ranade, Kamal H. Khayat, Jay G. Sanjayan – link
  22. Experimental study on large-scale 3D printed concrete walls under axial compression
    • Xiaoyu Han, Jiachuan Yan, Mingjian Liu, Liang Huo, Junlin Li- link
  23. Flexural Behavior of 3D Printed High-Strength Ductile Concrete Beams with Optimized Topology” (Thesis)
    • Amadeu Malats Domenech – link
  24. 3D-Printed Biodigital Clay Bricks
    • Yomna K. Abdallah, Alberto T. Estévez- link
  25. Cost–Benefit Analysis and Environmental Impact Assessment of 3D Printing Applications in Building Construction in Oman
    • Vineet Tirth, Syed Waheedullah Ghori – link
  26. Investigation for Developing 3D Concrete Printing Apparatus for Underwater Application
    • Jun Pil Hwang, Hojae Lee, Hong-Kyu Kwon – link
  27. Digital Fabrication Techniques for 3D Printing with Everyday Materials” (PhD Thesis)
    • Michael L. Rivera – link
  28. Numerical simulation of multi‐layer 3D concrete printing
    • Jon Spangenberg, Wilson Ricardo Leal da Silva, Raphaël Comminal, Md. Tusher Mollah, Thomas Juul Andersen, Henrik Stang – link

CExtra points [for those that reached the post’s End!], some Conferences/Seminars to keep a (keen) eye out 🙂

  1. “European Military Additive Manufacturing Symposium” (link)
  2. “3D Printing for Production -AM 2021” (link)
  3. “Advanced Manufacturing Technology Conference 2021” (link)
  4. “Inside 3D Printing Seoul” (link)
  5. “Health and Safety in Additive Manufacturing” by TÜV SÜD (link)

As the (net savvy) Youth likes to say: “sharing is caring“!

Stay 3Dposted 🙂

[NK #002] 3DCP link roundup

Dear Viewer,

Please find below the 2nd installment of the (Industry & Market!) data gathering; all for your perusal 🙂

A. Related/selected news clippings collection:

  1. Tiny house, fine print” – link
  2. The New York Times, “3D Printing Homes” – link
  3. Stratasys introduces Protectam Data Security Platform for US Government and Defense 3D Printing” – link

B. Related current scientific literature collection:

  1. Examining layer height effects on the flexural and fracture response of plain and fiber-reinforced 3D-printed beams
    • Authors: Sooraj A.O. Nair, Avinaya Tripathi, Narayanan, Neithalath – link
  2. A new mortise and tenon timber structure and its automatic construction system
    • Authors: Wentao Qiao, Zexiong Wang, Dong Wang, Long Zhang – link
  3. Extrusion and rheological characterization of cement-based materials containing different types of clays” (MSc Thesis)
    • Authors: Aydın, Eylül Mina – link
  4. Applying 3D Printing as a New Building Technology: Potentials and Challenges in the Egyptian Context
    • Authors: Amr Alaa El-din, Mohamed Ibrahim, Zeyad El-Sayed – link
  5. Developing Mix Proportions for Class C Fly Ash-Based Alkali-Activated 3D-Printed Concrete Mixtures
    • Authors: Fareh Abudawaba, Eslam Gomaa, Ahmed Gheni, Mohamed ElGawady- link
  6. Waste management and possible directions of utilising digital technologies in the construction context
    • Authors: Samad Sepasgozar, Deirdre Frances Mair, Faham Tahmasebinia, Sara Shirowzhan, Heng Li, Amy Richter, Liming Yang, Shixiong Xu – link
  7. Case studies of AI in architecture – Combining Al and BIM in the design and construction of a Mars habitat
    • Authors: Naveen K. Muthumanickam, Jose P. Duarte, Shadi Nazarian, AH Memari, and Sven G. Bilen – link
  8. 3D Printed Formwork for Concrete: State-of-the-Art, Opportunities, Challenges, and Applications
    • Authors: Andrei Jipa and Benjamin Dillenburger – link
  9. 3D-printing of architectured short carbon fiber-geopolymer composite
    • Authors: Siqi Ma, Hualong Yang, Shenjian Zhao, Peigang He, Zuhua Zhang, Xiaoming Duan, Zhihua Yang, Dechang Jia, Yu Zhou – link
  10. Energy Performance of 3D-Printed Concrete Walls: A Numerical Study
    • Authors: Thadshajini Suntharalingam, Irindu Upasiri, Perampalam Gatheeshgar, Keerthan Poologanathan, Brabha Nagaratnam, Paulo Santos and Heshachanaa Rajanayagam – link
  11. Design and Evaluation of Asphalt Concrete Incorporating Plastic Aggregates Fabricated Using 3D Printing Technology
    • Authors: Aamer Nazir, Min-Chih Liao, Yan-Wei Zhu, and Usman Nazir – link
  12. Milling a cement-based 3D printable mortar in its green state using a ball-nosed cutter
    • Authors: James Dobrzanski, Richard Buswell, Sergio Cavalaro, Peter Kinnell, Weiqiang Wang, Jie Xu, John Kolawole – link
  13. Tailoring rheological–strength–ductility properties of self-cleaning geopolymer composites with asphalt emulsion
    • Authors: Yafeng Pang, Xingyi Zhu, Ming Yang, Jiangtao Yu – link
  14. Operational Technology on Construction Sites: A Review from the Cybersecurity Perspective
    • Authors: Muammer Semih Sonkor, Borja García de Soto – link
  15. Reliability and effectiveness of laser scanners in future construction efforts on the Moon and Mars
    • Authors: Jacek Katzer, Czesław Suchocki, Wioleta Błaszczak-Bąk, Paweł K. Zarzycki, Marzena Damięcka-Suchocka- link
  16. Filament geometry control in extrusion-based additive manufacturing of concrete: The good, the bad and the ugly
    • Authors: R.J.M. Wolfs, T.A.M. Salet, N. Roussel- link
  17. Mechanical characterization of 3D printed concrete subjected to dynamic loading
    • Authors: Rosanna Napolitano, Costantino Menna, Daniele Forni, Domenico Asprone, Ezio Cadoni- link
  18. A scientometric review of waste material utilization in concrete for sustainable construction
    • Authors: Waqas Ahmad, Ayaz Ahmad, Krzysztof Adam Ostrowski, Fahid Aslam, Panuwat Joyklad- link
  19. Investigations of the Mechanical Properties of DLP 3D Printed Graphene/Resin Composites
    • Authors: Muammel M. Hanon, Arsany Ghaly, László Zsidai, Zoltán Szakál, István Szabó, László Kátai- link
  20. Machine Sensing for Mineral Foam 3D Printing
    • Authors: Bedarf, Patrick; Szabo, Anna; Zanini, Michele; Dillenburger, Benjamin – link
  21. A 3D-Printing Centered Approach to Mars Habitat Architecture and Fabrication
    • Authors: Matthew Troemner, Elham Ramyar, Jonathan Meehan; Benton Johnson, Nima Goudarzi, Gianluca Cusatis – link
  22. Non-linear rheological behavior of superplasticized cementitious suspensions at high shear rates
    • Authors: Ángel De La Rosa, Lucía Garijo, Gonzalo Ruiz, Rodrigo Moreno- link
  23. Correlation of interlayer properties and rheological behaviors of 3DPC with various printing time intervals
    • Authors: Yanqun Xu, Qiang Yuan, Zemin Li, Caijun Shi, Qihong Wu, Yanlin Huang- link
  24. Shrinkage behavior of cementitious 3D printing materials: Effect of temperature and relative humidity
    • Authors: Mohsen Rezaei Shahmirzadi, Aliakbar Gholampour, Alireza Kashanic, Tuan D. Ngo- link
  25. Set-on-demand approaches for geopolymers in concrete 3D printing
    • Authors: Shravan Muthukrishnan, Sayanthan Ramakrishnan, Jay Sanjayan- link
  26. Life cycle assessment of a low-height noise barrier for railway traffic noise
    • Authors: Mariam Abdulkareem, Jouni Havukainen, Jutta Nuortila-Jokinen, Mika Horttanainen- link
  27. Examining layer height effects on the flexural and fracture response of plain and fiber-reinforced 3D-printed beams
    • Authors: Sooraj A.O. Nair, Avinaya Tripathi, Narayanan Neithalath- link
  28. Comparison between Methods for Indirect Assessment of Buildability in Fresh 3D Printed Mortar and Concrete
    • Authors: Irina Ivanova, Egor Ivaniuk, Sameercharan Bisetti, Venkatesh N. Nerella, Viktor Mechtcherine- link
  29. Development of Photocatalytic 3D-Printed Cementitious Mortars: Influence of the Curing, Spraying Time Gaps and TiO2 Coating Rates
    • Authors: Behzad Zahabizadeh, Iran Rocha Segundo, João Pereira, Elisabete Freitas, Aires Camões, Carlos J. Tavares, Vasco Teixeira, Vítor M. C. F. Cunha, Manuel F. M. Costa, Joaquim O. Carneiro- link

Hope the above Knowledge links will be useful and become fruitul input for the Next steps, evolutions, escalations, bigger, faster & (even more) automated 🙂

Stay 3D posted 😉

[NK #001] 3DCP link roundup

Hello there & “welcome aboard!” our Dear 3D Construction Printing co-enthusiast!

Please find below the first batch of news-clippings as well as selected published research papers/works are for your (3DCP) interest & viewing pleasure (sorted in no particular order; for now).

Tea & study time it is then!

  1. US army to 3D print concrete buildings and bridges in disaster areas” – link, 2nd link
  2. “Futuristic houses are being 3D printed by robots — and could go on sale for £360,000”link
  3. Live talk with Zaha Hadid Architects, ETH Zurich and Holcim on their 3D-printed concrete bridge Striatus” – link
  4. 3D printing could help build homes with unique designs more cheaply, advocates say” – link
  5. Humans and Robots, Co-existing Peacefullylink
    • Article by Zack Mannheimer (founder/CEO of Alquist)
  6. Training the key to future success of 3D printing in construction” – link
  7. A 3D Printed Book Cabin Has Been Placed in a Shanghai Park” – link
  8. 2021 3D Printing Industry Awards – Vote now” – link
  9. “New Era of 3D-Printing” – link
  10. Restoring coral reefs with 3D-printed skeletons” – link
  11. Are you ready for a 3D-printed house? They’re cheaper, stronger and long-lasting, developers say” – link
  12. Are you ready for a 3D-printed house?” – link
  13. A cure for construction” – link
  14. 3d Printed Homes: A Fix for Global Housing Problems?” (link)
  15. 3D printing clean(er) and more sustainable energy and parts” (link)
  16. World’s first 3D-printed steel bridge completed in Amsterdam” (link)
  17. 3D Printing making headway”link
    • The longest bridge ever built using 3D printing is located in Nijmegen, Netherlands, at the Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix factory

Related current scientific literature collection:

  1. “A 3D-Printing Centered Approach to Mars Habitat Architecture and Fabrication”
    • Authors: Matthew Troemner, Elham Ramyar, Jonathan Meehan, Benton Johnson – link
  2. “3D printing lunar architecture with a novel cable-driven printer”
    • Authors: Dianjin Zhang, Dekai Zhou, Guangyu, Zhang, Guangbin, Shao, Longqiu Li
    • Published online on the 24th of September 2021 – link
  3. “Industrialised Mass Housing in Saudi Arabia: A Qualitative and Technological Study”, PhD Thesis – link
    • Author: Alshabib, Abdulaziz Dakhel M.
  4. “Non-linear rheological behavior of superplasticized cementitious suspensions at high shear rates”
    • Authors: Ángel De La Rosa, Lucía Garijo, Gonzalo Ruiz, Rodrigo Moreno
    • Published online on the 20th of September 2021 – link
  5. “Set-on-demand approaches for geopolymers in concrete 3D printing”
    • Authors: Shravan Muthukrishnan, Sayanthan Ramakrishnan, Jay Sanjayan
    • Concrete 2021 Conference – link
  6. “Correlation of interlayer properties and rheological behaviors of 3DPC with various printing time intervals”
    • Authors: Qiang Yuan, Yanqun Xu, Zemin Li, Caijun Shi, Qihong Wu, Yanlin Huang
    • Published online on the 13th of September 2021 – link
  7. “Shrinkage behavior of cementitious 3D printing materials: Effect of temperature and relative humidity”
    • Authors: Mohsen Rezaei Shahmirzadi, Aliakbar Gholampour, Alireza Kashani, Tuan D. Ngo
    • Published online on the 20th of September 2021 – link
  8. “Examining layer height effects on the flexural and fracture response of plain and fiber-reinforced 3D-printed beams”
    • Authors: Sooraj A.O. Nair, Avinaya Tripathi, Narayanan Neithalath
    • Published online on the 16th of September 2021 – link
  9. “Machine Sensing for Mineral Foam 3D Printing”
    • Authors: Bedarf, Patrick; Szabo, Anna; Zanini, Michele; Dillenburger, Benjamin
    • International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2021- link
  10. “Characterization of Fresh and Hardened Properties of 3D Printable Cementitious Materials Produced with Ground-Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag”, MSc Thesis – link
    • Author: Shoueb, Mohamad Basel
  11. “A scientometric review of waste material utilization in concrete for sustainable construction”
    • Authors: Waqas Ahmad, Ayaz Ahmad, Krzysztof Adam Ostrowski, Fahid Aslam, Panuwat Joyklad
    • Published online on the 4rd of September 2021 – link
  12. “Investigations of the Mechanical Properties of DLP 3D Printed Graphene/Resin Composites”
    • Authors: Muammel M. Hanon, Arsany Ghaly, László Zsidai, Zoltán Szakál, István Szabó, László Kátai
    • Published online on the 16th of September 2021 – link
  13. “Acoustic performance optimization of a cementitious composite with a porous medium”
    • Authors: Sen Lin, Genbao Zhang, Junbo Sun, Shilin He, Changfu Chen, Amr M. Morsy, Xiangyu Wang
    • Published online on the 23rd of September 2021 – link
  14. Additive Fabrication of Large-Scale Customizable Formwork Using Robotic Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Winding
    • Authors: Ya Ou, Ding-Wen Bao, Guan-Qi Zhu, and Dan Luo
    • Published online on the 17th of September 2021 – link
  15. Flexure resistant 3D printed zeolite-inspired structures
    • Authors: Rushikesh S. Ambekar, Eliezer F. Oliveira, Brijesh Kushwaha, Varinder Pal, Pulickel M. Ajayan, Ajit K. Roy, Douglas S. Galvao, Chandra S. Tiwary
    • Published online on the 17th of September 2021 – link
  16. 3D printing in tourism: an answer to sustainability challenges?
    • Authors: Galina Berjozkina , Rasoul Karami
    • Published online on the 20th of September 2021 – link
  17. Incremental viscoelasticity at finite strains for the modelling of 3D concrete printing
    • Author: B. Nedjar –link
  18. Examining layer height effects on the flexural and fracture response of plain and fiber-reinforced 3D-printed beams
    • Authors: Sooraj A.O. Nair, Avinaya Tripati, Narayanan Neithalath
    • Published online on the 16th of September 2021 –link
  19. Conceptual design of a concrete staircase based on topology optimization“, MSc Thesis,
    • Authors: BjØrnar Sandvik, Ehsan Qaraee, Ramesh Kumar – link
  20. Influence of bottom ash and polypropylene fibers on the physico-mechanical, durability and thermal performance of foam concrete: An experimental investigation
    • Authors: Osman Gencel, Syed Minhaj Saleem Kazmi, Muhammad Junaid Munir, Gokhan Kaplan, Oguzhan Yavuz Bayraktar, Duygu Ozturk Yarar, Arash Karimipour, Muhammad Riaz Ahmad
    • Published online on the 17th of September 2021- link
  21. Development of Photocatalytic 3D-Printed Cementitious Mortars: Influence of the Curing, Spraying Time Gaps and TiO2 Coating Rates
    • Authors: Behzad Zahabizadeh, Iran Rocha Segundo, João Pereira, Elisabete Freitas, Aires Camões, Carlos J. Tavares, Vasco Teixeira, Vítor M.C.F. Cunha, Manuel F.M. Costa, Joaquim O. Carneiro
    • Published online on the 27th of August 2021 – link
  22. “Design and Evaluation of Asphalt Concrete Incorporating Plastic Aggregates Fabricated Using 3D Printing Technology”
    • Authors: Aamer Nazir, Min-Chih Liao, Yan-Wei Zhu, and Usman Nazir
    • Published online on the 22nd of September 2021 – link
  23. A qualitative conceptual framework to tackle skill shortages in offsite construction industry: a scientometric approach
    • Authors: Syed Saad , Wesam Salah Alaloul , Syed Ammad , Abdul Hannan Qureshi
    • Published online on the 20th of September 2021 – link

With kind regards,

Dr. N.S. Katsiotis

Mining & Metallurgical Engineer

PhD in Chemical Engineering


extra points for those of us who made it here (not_2LDR :P):

European Military Additive
Manufacturing Symposium

12th and 13th October 2021 | Maritim Hotel | Bonn | Germany


3D Printed Homes: Current Technology & The Future

Automated construction methods such as prefabs and 3D printing are gaining popularity, mainly because of high home prices. Concrete 3D printing has proved its feasibility through various projects around the globe. However, 3D printing is still in a pioneering stage, many iterations and experiments are needed for perfecting this technique. The results of the 3D printing construction projects are promising a solution for the labor shortage in the construction industry. Today, industrial 3D printing is a common practice in prototyping, but construction 3D printing is still evolving as a viable technique for construction. Around the world startup companies are working to bring the technology to the mainstream. Because of the popularity for 3D printing in recent years, the companies overwhelmed with orders and inquiries. Many people are in line for a 3D printed construction project; at present the lead time on a project can even be over a year. 

3D printing companies keep their numbers secret and sometimes make claims that are not even close to the actual numbers. In 2019 Business Insider published an article with a misleading headline “These 3D-printed homes can be built for less than $4,000 in just 24 hours” and many other media outlets echoed this unverified claim. The misleading news reports has helped to create public interest in the technology, but the true numbers can be demoralizing to many prospective adopters. At present, a 3D printed house will cost more to construct, and the process will take months to complete. This article discuss about different aspects of the construction 3D printing, to provide an insight into the capabilities and prospects of this technology. 

The 4000 Dollar home?

Home prices in the US have reached the highest point in history, partially due to the increased cost of the material and labor. While labor is the biggest cost in construction, the industry is also facing a shortage of skilled labor. 3D printing can offset a portion of this labor shortage thus reducing the cost. But at present 3D printing construction can be significantly costlier than conventional construction techniques. A few 3D printed houses have been built around the country, and the actual cost of these projects is rumored to be anywhere from 140 percent to 300 percent of conventional construction. The cost can vary depending on the type of system and material being used. There are many factors contributing to this high price, the main components of a 3D printing cost are discussed below.

  • Material: 3D printing machines use engineered concrete mixes (ink) to create the desired structures. For a concrete mix to be a 3D printing ink the formability, consistency and curing properties should be within a defined range. Different companies like ICON, Apis-Cor, Mighty Buildings, etc. have developed their own proprietary inks for their own 3D printing machines. At present there is no fixed standard for these concrete mixes and companies are producing the material in batches for each project. There are no published numbers on the price or properties of these proprietary mixes, yet by analyzing the reported expense of 3D printing projects it is evident that the material can cost four times or more compared to regular concrete. This price of the material is the main reason behind the high price point of the 3D printing construction projects. Since the 3D printing concrete is a highly engineered concrete mix the price will never be lower than regular concrete, but in the future mass production can bring the cost down from the current point.  If the price of ink falls to a comparable level to regular concrete, 3D printing construction can become cheaper than conventional construction. 
  • Machines:  Construction 3D printers are a system of computer-controlled machines used for placing the ink layer by layer. Currently there are only a few companies manufacturing 3D printers large enough to build houses; the price of these machines can run anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Apart from the gantry, or robotic actuator, there are other supporting systems such as material mixers, pumps, hoppers, nozzle assemblies, etc. needed for the printing operation. Some of these machines are more complex and sensitive than the gantry or the robot. The construction jobs may require additional machines like cranes, tractors etc. The total cost of all the machines needed for 3D printing a home can run into the millions. Because of the high demand and lack of competition, the price for these 3D printers remains high. Just like any machine, these early models are yet to prove their reliability and durability. A portion of the total price of machine and maintenance will be added to the total price of each project, but in the future more reliable and efficient models will bring this cost down.
  • Transportation: Transportation cost is the cost associated with moving the machines, materials and people involved in the construction process. Due to the shortage of printers, the machines need to be transported long distances. The transportation of the entire 3D printing system and materials can take many truck loads and larger printers will need cranes to move its massive parts around the work site. Sometimes the printing will require a tent, and in that case the tent will also need to be transported.  This will increase the cost of construction, but as more printers and subsystems become available in the market the cost of transportation will be lowered.
  • Wastage: This factor is often overlooked. Getting a consistent 3D printing mix is still an art rather than science. A lot of factors can affect the consistency of the mix, and this consistency is important in making a high-quality wall. Before each project the team must do a lot of test prints to create the perfect mix for that specific job. The projects are not printed in one stretch either; all projects are printed in sections. Each time the machine starts, a lot of material is wasted in the process of setting the mix consistency for the actual printing. This wastage adds up to the tons by the end of the project. Due to the quick setting nature of the mix sometimes the material line can clog, and in that case the entire line needs to be flushed. Due to the high cost of materials, the cost of wasted mix will be significant, but as companies perfect their mixes and printing practices, the wastage in the process can be minimized.
  • Operational cost: Operational cost is the expense of running an operation. The operational cost for 3D printing construction comes from wages, energy bills, set up cost and other miscellaneous expenses. Human operators are required to ensure the accuracy and precision of the printing operation, as any unnoticed changes in any stage of the operation may have serious consequences. Today, most 3D printing jobs need more than one person to operate and monitor the entire system. Setting up is the process of getting the printer and other machines ready for the actual printing of the house. This process may require cranes, tractors, generators, waterlines, etc. Today, the operations in a 3D printing construction site are far from optimized and it will take many years of experience to achieve. As time progresses, more trained professionals and optimized operational procedures will bring higher efficiency.

Build a House in 24 hours?

Home construction is a long process; a lot of money and labor is involved in it for many months. Shortening the construction timeline will obviously reduce the total cost of construction. The ability to build a house in 24 hours would be momentous but that is not a practical goal. Some companies may have claimed to build a house in 24 or 48 hours, but they are talking about the actual print time of the wall’s construction. A project is more than just walls, and even the wall printing is parted into sections. The total printing process taking one or two weeks to finish, and many test prints need to be completed before that. Because each layer of material will require a curing time to achieve the strength to carry the weight of the layers on top of it. After the walls are cured, other works need to be carried out to finish the project. Therefore, no 3D printed construction project can be or was finished in 24 hours. 

3D printing has the potential to reduce the time for constructing the walls of the home. After the walls are installed, conventional roofing, electrical, plumbing and finishing processes need to be done. By 3D printing the walls the total time of the project can be reduced, but the total time will still be over a month. Reducing the time to build a home will increase the availability of homes, thus reducing the price. 

The 3D printing operation is sensitive to environmental conditions, therefore variations in temperature and humidity will impact the timeline of the project. The printing mixes are optimized for a specific temperature and humidity level. A change in the specified climate conditions will negatively impact the quality of the print. For this reason, in most cases the actual printing had to be limited to a certain time of the day. And printing is impossible during a raining if it is not done inside a tent. Printing inside a tent can produce better quality walls, but it is obviously much more expensive.

What will happen to construction workers? 

Labor is the biggest expense in construction. The labor shortage is increasing the cost of labor year by year. In this situation automating the construction processes is important to make affordable housing a reality. Construction is the only main industry that hasn’t seen any significant automation, and 3D printing is one way to automate to construction. 3D printing is not capable of offsetting all the manual labor, people are required for different procedures before during and after the 3D printing process. During the printing operation, people are required for inserting reinforcement, insulation, rough wiring, and plumbing, etc. After finishing the walls, roofing, flooring, and other finishes are to be done conventional contractors. 

For every replaced job, automation will create more sophisticated jobs in the technology sector. Development of automated construction will create jobs for printer operators and robotic manufacturers. It will also open more research and development jobs in material science, software development etc. 3D printing construction is in a state like the industrial robots of the 1980s; today all factories are automated to different degrees, and the conditions are prefect for construction industry to adopt automated construction techniques. 

A Dream come true for Architects

High cost of construction was always a limiting factor in architectural innovations in building designs. Architects usually come up with innovative shapes in their designs, but the cost of making the curved structures make the designs financially impossible. The advent of 3D printing is promising a new future for architectural design. 3D printing can make curved walls as easy as straight walls. Due to structural issues and code restrictions, 3D printing companies are taking baby steps in bringing this change into new construction. However, curved rooms will soon be a norm in the 3D printed homes. This architectural freedom can easily bring more innovative designs to no-permit required structures such as planters, firepits etc.

At present, the print mixes have similar properties to concrete; they are good with compression and poor with tensile loads. Therefore, rebar is inserted into the concrete. Developing new materials can change this, if a company come up with a 3D printing ink that can perform under tensile load it can ultimately accelerate the construction 3D printing technology.  

The permit and code rules have some restrictions in place to protect the aesthetics of a neighborhood. But these restrictions were formalized before the advent of 3D printing technology as the technique mature the governing authorities will eventually adopt the new rules and standards. This is a field that need some focus from the companies involved in this industry. Engineering and architectural standards needs to be developed for 3D printing construction.


Construction is an essential process, with significant ecological effects. Sustainable housing is a long-sought achievement and 3D printing may be capable of making it a reality. Material scientists around the globe are working to develop an eco-friendly 3D printing mix. Construction is one of the largest CO2 producers, making the construction more sustainable will solve a lot of environmental issues. 

At present most of the 3D printing mixes are cement-based. Cement is not an eco-friendly substance. Nevertheless, 3D printing is better for the environment because of the decreased waste of the raw materials. Good amount of research is dedicated towards creating alternative materials for construction. Recently, Omlab a Netherland based startup was successful in developing a bio-degradable 3D printing ink for construction. Wasp, an Italian startup has 3D printed a structure using soil and straw. If the researchers can produce an eco-friendly ink with similar properties of cement-based mixes, it can create a huge impact in the industry’s sustainability goals. 3D printing can also eliminate many intermediate steps in the construction process that will also reduce emissions and pollution. 

All structures around us are overbuild, most of the material being used is for ease of construction rather than for structural integrity. 3D printing can reduce material usage by creating complex shapes for perfect load transfer. Today most structures are made as filled blocks, and most of the material in the structure is not required for its designed structural properties. By using 3D printing the required amount of material can be placed where it is required. This way, some structures can save up to 70% of material; it will have a positive effect on the price and sustainability of the buildings.

Concrete is fire-resistant in nature and using concrete instead of wood can reduce the risk of fire. This can result in lowered insurance cost. Concrete is also not susceptible to termites and other insects, resulting in lowered maintenance cost. Concrete, compared to wood, also has superior strength. Because of the strength the damages caused by natural disasters or adverse climate phenomenon will be minimal, saving a lot of money in damage repairs. 


3D printing construction is here, and the technology has proven its ability to revolutionize the construction industry for the better. Despite some claims about the price of 3D printed homes being clickbait, the claims were generated popularity for the technology. By nature, 3D printed homes are better in many ways to conventional houses, but a lot of research and development must be done to unveil its full potential. The technology is growing at a fast pace, trying new techniques and materials. Soon, 3D printers will be a regular sight on construction sites. Innovative startups are racing to capture the once in a century opportunity. There are dozens of companies coming up with different types of materials and techniques to improve the quality and sustainability of concrete 3D printing. Despite the present cost of materials and machines being very high, the tipping point is not far away. By the end of this decade, fully automated 3D printing could be a common practice.

Omlab is Replacing Cement with Toilet Paper and Calcium

Everyone always asks how can 3D printed concrete be better for the environment? Here is a potential solution! Traditional 3D printed concrete (can I say that yet?) uses a very high portion of cement in the mix compared to regular concrete that would get poured in a formwork. Omlab asks the question, How can we get all the benefits of 3d printed construction (Labor reduction, form freedom, speed) without harming the environment?

This startup in the Netherlands is changing the way concrete impacts the environment. By developing a new mixture that has similar structural properties to concrete without the harmful environmental side effects, Omlab wants to change the long term implications of construction for good. 

I got to meet with founders Margreet Van Uffelen & Huub Looze to get a tour around their facility seeing their printer and past prints. They shared the origin story of Omlab along with their vision for where the company will go in the future. Right now they are very much in the research and startup phase perfecting their mix, print methods, and curing strategy.

The material is 90% calcium removed from drinking water. A small portion is cellulose taken from sanitized toilet paper from the sewage processing plant and they also use a bio polymer binder kamera rich in proteins.

This mixture is completely biodegradable and actually promotes many types of life because of the high calcium concentration. One may ask how can a biodegradable material be used in construction outdoors? The solution is a weatherproof coating. The best part is once it cures it resembles concrete very closely not only in looks but also strength. Omlab is now undergoing strength testing to evaluate the real world potential of this product. 

The biggest upcoming project for Omlab is a public toilet 3d printed with their material that they have already developed a 1:10 scale model of. If the project is successful it will be the first 3d printed building made in a sustainable environmentally friendly way. That is a big achievement and a nice step in the right direction, the next step will need to be scaling it up in a cost effective way. Regardless of the current costs, it is so important that people keep experimenting with the materials used in construction particularly for construction automation. Material science is more advanced than it had ever been in the past. 

Materials at the moment has the potential to be the holy grail of 3d printing because if someone developed a printable concrete at the same cost as regular concrete, all the sudden all these companies with construction 3d printers would be able to complete their construction projects at a lower price than traditional construction. There are many other ways the cost benefits can be achieved but it seems to me a materials development would be the fastest way. 

Omlab is quite open and they are great people, you should reach out to them and learn more about their materials. 3D printed construction companies should work with Omlab to figure out what it takes to extrude their solution from gantry and robotic arm systems. 

My Construction Printer Operator Test with CyBe

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While in the Netherlands, I visited CyBe construction. With their robotic arm mortar printing system, CyBe has completed projects around the world with many more underway from their various clients/partners. 

The training was a 2 week event starting with just learning the basics and watching the very experienced CyBe team operate the robotic arm they have in the facility. By the end of the first week I was beginning to assist with prints lead by my trainer Marc. The second week we went to France Sunday-Thursday to visit Lille University and a 3D printed guardhouse in La Havre which I filmed a tour of with CyBe CEO Berry Hendriks while we were there. 

After the France excursion there were 2 days left of training before my final exam to earn the Basic Operator Certificate. On Friday of the first week I was feeling pretty confident with the system but after spending 4 days away from the machine I certainly felt a bit rusty coming back. I had gained some confidence with the equipment after the first week but hadn’t yet built nearly the true muscle memory level of operation exhibited by Marc, Yop, Alwin, and Jeremy. 

I decided that I would live stream my Basic Operator Final Exam on YouTube to give my subscribers an insight to the 3D printed construction world that they otherwise may not have been able to access. In the month since I filmed that live stream it has already accumulated over 50,000 views with an average watch time of 20 minutes so relative to my small channel it was a big success and something I will try to do again in the future. 

The test was going to be a wall element from a building that was designed by a company in Japan. 5 of these identical wall units are organized in a circle which makes up the small round building. The curvature of the walls mean the base is significantly smaller in surface area than a slice of the middle segment meaning there will be overhang in the layers and considerations of balance are critical to keeping the printed concrete upright while it prints and cures. 

There are some things that need to happen pre print to ensure a safe and productive environment. Ideally you don’t want to print concrete directly on concrete because removing it afterwards could pose a challenge that could damage the print. A couple simple sheets of cellophane can prevent the concrete material from sticking to the slab. Another strategy often employed by CyBe is constructing a small platform out of pallets to print on. Once you have your print area set up you can start your first layer test. During the first layer test make sure the extruder remains in the print area. After the first layer move on to the rest of the print in auto mode so that you don’t need to keep your hand on the controller. It’s generally recommended to keep people out of the print area but for some prints it’s critical to remove portions of the material which requires humans being near the print. By running a full dry test you can be confident there are no rogue points on the print path that would send the printer in a random, potentially dangerous direction. 

The mortar material used by CyBe is a differentiating factor of this company because instead of using accelerator additives they use retarder to actually slow the hardening rate of their material. The dry mix has so much accelerant in it that this retarder is required to prevent the material from hardening to quickly. At ideal levels, the material is nearly completely solid after the 5th or 6th printed layer. This adjustment is done at the mixer which is one of the most critical components of the print process. The mixer is where the dry mix, water and additive come together and get combined thoroughly in the rotor-stator before entering the hose which leads directly to the extruder head of the printer. Adjusting the retarder levels is critical because depending on factors like the length of the hose, time between layers, ambient temperature, humidity ect… you may want to raise or lower the levels to accommodate the circumstances you are printing in. 

Starting the mixer flow is somewhat of an art if you just turn it on and leave it then you are bound to cause a clog. The key is to start the water flow and the additive at an even higher level than final print values and slowly start introducing the material which only mixes at one constant speed (for my purposes). You start in 10 second intervals leaving the dry mix pump on for 1 second and off for 9 then on for 2 and off for 8 and so on until you are on for 9 seconds off for 1 at which point you can just leave it on completely. After the material is fully flowing you can reduce the water levels and the additive levels until the mix is satisfactory for printing. You know the material is dialed in right when it begins stacking slightly from the extruder head. Another great test is to use a spatula to get one small length of printed material. When it is ready, the material will stick to the spatula even upside-down, you will also feel a slightly firm ‘core’ if you poke the material with your finger. 

When the concrete slabs that make up the floor of the CyBe facility were built, they didn’t have robotic arms precisely extruding concrete so the slab that we were printing on was slightly uneven maybe by +-1cm initially this gave me some concern but the CyBe team assured me it would not cause a print failure. The trick on the first layer is to slow down the machine a bit. The material is always extruded at a constant pace so if you slow down the robotic arm you end up with a thicker line of more material, this thicker layer allows for more margin of error on the print bed and gives a nice base to print the next layer on. The ABB robotic arm is of course extremely precise so after that thicker first layer compensates for any irregularity in the print area every layer after that will be precisely the height it was programmed to be (Usually 12.5cm)

Printing is actually the easy part. If everything was done properly for the setup and material qualities the only thing left is cutting away any sections of the print you wish to leave open and keeping the mixer full of dry material. In the CyBe facility they were using 25kg bags of concrete but with a large silo jumbo bags (1.2T) of concrete can be loaded in to further reduce the human labor input required. During the print someone should water down the 

After the print comes the cleaning process. This is a critical step of anything involving concrete especially when it is so fast to harden. Cleaning off the wet material is much easier than trying to pry off the rock chucks of concrete after it becomes solid so you want to do this part quickly and CyBe does. Their system mixes the additive in at the mixer rather than the extruder head so 90% of the cleaning process is done at the mixer which simply involves flushing out the hose with tiny sponge balls then replacing the mixing iron with the cleaning iron and running water through the mixer until all of the sediment from the concrete mix leaves the machine. Overall the cleaning process takes about 10-15 minutes which is notably shorter than the competitors that I’ve seen granted it is a smaller machine. 

I have to say I was very impressed by the lack of cracking in the CyBe prints, Nearly every 3d printed building I’ve seen in the world has some aesthetic non structural cracks but I didn’t see these in the CyBe prints. Being able to hose down the material so quickly after the print goes a long way in controlling the temperature of the concrete as it cures. Keeping the temperature under control significantly reduces the risk of cracking. Another unique factor of CyBe is the sponging process they use to smooth their prints. As mentioned earlier, the material cures within 5-6 layers but within that range the layers are still somewhat wet and malleable so manually brushing over them with a sponge can fill in the layer pattern resulting in a completely smooth wall. 

I was the first person to receive training as an individual rather than a team but I did have 2 CyBe employees assisting me with parts of the print because it generally requires a team of 3 to operate the printer. When everything is going well it’s mostly just standing around, after a year or two of experience it’s even possible to operate the printer solo but with so much going on and little margin for error it’s much safer to use a team. I certainly made a few mistakes, most notably in the beginning I didn’t turn on the water flow on the mixer and while we were calibrating the material component values I let the mixer run empty forgetting to add more material. Luckily this all happened prior to the print. I also left the water heater off but that didn’t cause any issues although it would have gone better at the right heated values, that may be why dialing in the material in the beginning was a bit tricky. You can watch the whole thing with all raw footage from the live feed on my YouTube channel. I managed to get through printing the entire 2.5m wall unit without anything coming up that would detriment the print. At the end of the print I was awarded my Basic Operator Certification. 

Learning to operate a concrete printer felt like a bit step on my journey around the world researching construction automation technology. I had spent over a year researching everything I could find publicly available on the internet but the knowledge acquired from actually making a print happen from start to finish is a completely new level for me. I hope to continue to expand my skillset and learn the operation of other printers. I have learned so much from this experience I think it will be even easier for me to learn how to operate the next one because so many factors are similar especially when it comes to the mixer and the controller which have been very similar with some unique differences at each site I’ve visited. Most of these differences in the mixer are due to the lack of functionality in the off the shelf mixer pump systems currently available on the market. The available equipment is designed for different use cases that are less precise so the units require after market modifications by the companies operating the printer yielding differences between competitors. 

The debate between robotic arms and gantry systems for 3d printing on the construction site rages on. I can say without a doubt both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You can’t truly identify one as superior unless you clearly define a particular project. Robotic arms can’t make monolithic structures larger than their print area but for many applications you don’t wan’t a monolithic structure anyway.  When you have to move the printer that is certainly much easier with a robotic arm rather than a gantry system that must be assembled every time. This is something we discussed on an episode on the Automated Construction podcast below.

I certainly expect great things from CyBe in both the near and extended future. They are a nimble and efficient organization considering many verticals trying to make 3D printing mainstream on the construction site. For more information on their technology check out you can also schedule a call with me to discuss which printer would best suit your project via make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and consider leaving your email here on my website so that on the rare occasion (so rare it’s never happened yet) that I send something out to my email list you don’t get left out.

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Vertico Pushes Parametric Design in Printed Concrete

While in Europe I had the pleasure of visiting Vertico 3D and their founder Volker Ruitinga. Volker was my first podcast guest via zoom so it was particularly special to visit his facility and record a second podcast in person while visiting Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Those who listened to the first podcast episode remember Volker came from the automobile industry which helped him procure a robotic arm from his old company.

Vertico specializes in parametric design, you’ll see how many different textures they have explored with let me know in the comments if one sticks out as your favorite in particular, I’m sure Vertico would like the feedback as well. They have come a long way since then, currently using no parts from the original system. They’ve upgraded the robot, the pumps, mixing system and even added a silo. In the early days Vertico was hand mixing their concrete in buckets now they load in 1.2 ton concrete bags at a time!

At the Vertico facility they’ve kept many of their old and early prints which gives an excellent timeline of their progress featured in the video below. Volker was kind enough to openly discuss some of the early failures and issues they ran into providing some insight to the daily challenges of a tech startup.

While visiting, I also got the chance to play with some of the parametric design tools vertico has built in the Grasshopper plugin of Rhino. In about 10 minutes I was able to create a printable design and I filmed the process along with the print to be released on youtube later this week. (see below)

Not only did they print my design but also the inverted version of my design, a 2.5m tall column(with a way cooler design than mine) and then the same column but inverted. There was also a 5th print in the same row but that one is confidential, details will be released when the project is ready. The second print had some slight slump causing some inconsistency in the print but Volker was able to very carefully adjust the speed of the printer to compensate for the area which had suffered from the slump to recover the print in about 5 layers. The print was able to reach the last layer without a stoppage.

For those wondering why the lighting is so unique, Vertico shares a warehouse (protected by the historical society) with another startup growing produce/vegtables in tandem with fish in a hydroponic ecosystem.

If you like the designs by Vertico go on their website and make an inquiry, they may even be willing to help bring your idea to reality. Keep in mind they are located in Europe, specifically Eindhoven, the Netherlands so shipping may be a significant expense if you aren’t located nearby.

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Visiting Cobod in Copenhagen and Their Prints in Belgium / Germany!

In May I had the incredible opportunity to visit with Cobod in Copenhagen Denmark at their headquarters and manufacturing facility. Regular viewers of my platform will be familiar with Cobod from my videos with Printed Farms in Florida where they built Floridas first 3D printed building, a 30×30 garage. 

Cobod has sold many printers globally and their current system, the BOD 2 offers many improvements and upgrades from their previous BOD 1 system. Notable clients of Cobod include GE, L&T construction, Kamp C Peri,  Printed Farms, and many more. Peri is not just a client but also an early investor of Cobod and a licensed distributor of the printing system. Of all the users of the Bod 2 system Peri has completed the most prints, the largest prints, and the most innovative prints including a 5 bedroom building in Beckum, Germany and a 5 unit apartment building in Wallhausen, Germany both of which I had the chance to visit during my time in Europe and I was quite impressed. Not only did I get to visit these projects but I also was able to tour them with the head architect from Mense-Korte who designed the 5 bedroom house and a co-owner of Rupp construction, the owner/developer of the 5 unit apartment building. These videos can be seen below along with my visit to Kamp C in Belgium where they printed the first 2 story building in Europe with a team of students. I also did a video of the Bod building near the Cobod facility showcasing the design with architect Alma Bangsgaard Svendsen.

The BOD 2 is a modular gantry system that can get quite large. This system allows for onsite or offsite printing. Depending on location and size the printer takes about 4 hours to set up and take down requiring a crane or all terrain forklift to lift each module into place. Operating the system is quite similar to a typical 3D printer and the team at Printed Farms was able to learn enough to complete their 30×30 garage through only virtual training. 

The Cobod team was quite welcoming, all the employees seem very excited to be working on such revolutionary technology and are quite passionate about their work. While staying with Cobod they also had a materials PHD named Nikolaos Katsiotis visiting from Greece, it was great getting his perspective on the materials side of the concrete printing world as well. 

I was interested to hear from Fabian Meyer-Brötz that the printed apartment building in Wallhausen was very well received by the community. I have had a lingering fear that some people would not appreciate the modern design or printed layers simply because it is different, historically people have been afraid of change but in the case of these 3D printed houses that does not seem to be the case. Most marvel at the exciting prospects the technology offers in the form of automation. Even the contractors working for Rupp seemed very excited to be working on such an innovative project despite most of their construction activities being similar to a typical job site. In the 5 unit apartment building people were so excited to work on the project that subcontractors and furnishing companies offered their services and products without cost just for the sake of having their work showcased in a futuristic project. Neither Bekum nor Wallhausen was particularly known for being futuristic so if the projects were so well received in those cities then I would imagine there will be similar reactions all over the world.  

The excitement over these projects can’t last forever but it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. There is still so much discovery to do in terms of what construction automation technology is capable of and every project yields new opportunities and learning experiences that will contribute to the improvement of buildings to come. Everyone I’ve talked to who contributed to building a 3D printed concrete structure always has the perspective that future projects will be substantially more efficient both in terms of time, material usage, and cost. The first projects have a learning curve, both Mense-Korte and Peri had the impression that if the same buildings were to be printed again they would be somewhere between 10% and 20% more efficient than the first try. That margin of improvement will continue to get better as everyone involved advances on the learning curve. Stay posted because there are some super impressive Cobod projects underway that I will be visiting once I return back to the United States!