3D Printing of Concrete at High Quality and Speed: Toward the Industrialization of the Construction
3D printing of concrete has been demonstrated in a large scale for years now. The control of the rheological and strength evolution of the concrete are however critical to able high quality and quick construction with 3D printing. We can now print with an extreme efficiency a flowable inks which is pumped and can be rapidly hardened when placed with maximum precision. The unique expertise built allows the “setting on demand” of concrete with the control of interactions between the concrete binder and high-grade concrete additives. Not only the flow properties and the setting properties are controlled with precision, other properties such as the shrinkage, colors and textures are controlled to insure the best durability of the printed materials. The developed systems and formulations speeds up the printing process, reaching an application of the concrete at a continuous rate up to 4t/h with printing speed far above of 1m/s. A quick evolution of the construction methods and techniques is occurring with the establishment of automatized application with durable and sustainable materials having lower carbon dioxide finger print. New development tools have been developed to make a quantitative link between laboratory and field and to allow quick adaptations with any local raw materials for local manufacturing creating an unrivalled freedom of design with infinite architectural design possibilities.