The Loughborough research team has developed patented 3D concrete printing (3DCP) technology for the manufacture of full-scale construction and architectural components.
Their computer controlled 3DCP printers are fitted to a gantry and robotic arm, and precisely deposit successive layers of specially formulated high-performance concrete to create complex structural components.
The technology can be used to form essential building services as well as architectural features and intricate facade panels that cannot be manufactured cost-effectively by conventional processes.
The components have a high compressive strength of up to 100N/mm2 and inherent tensile strength of 10N/mm2.
Another game-changing benefit is the speed with which a component can be completed – the test robot’s printing rate is 600mm per second.
The technique also facilitates the inclusion of increasingly complex building services infrastructure from the outset instead of time-consuming and costly on-site retrofitting.
For more information about component properties and the 3DCP process, please see "Technical advances are making 3D printed concrete a reality" (RIBA Journal, 23 December 2015).