3D printing in construction

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3D printing in the construction industry called computer-assisted construction methods for construction of structures using 3D printing - technology . These processes have their origins in the prefabrication of components, for example in prefabricated houses .


Plans for a building are drawn up on the computer, translated into control data for 3D printing and then forwarded to the 3D printer . The 3D printer can be a fully automatic gantry robot , which is then larger than the building. The fast-hardening special concrete and normal concrete are fed via concrete containers .

First, the gantry robot pours a frame layer by layer with the help of the special concrete. Its computer-controlled spray nozzle places thin traces of the concrete on the surface, which are then brought into their final shape by two trowels attached to the side. Then the frame is filled with normal concrete. In addition, finished steel frames or the like can also be introduced. Thus a building is created exactly according to a computer drawing.

This principle of rapid prototyping was developed by the US researcher Behrokh Khoshnevis, professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles .

An alternative principle is based on the use of industrial robots. The 3D printing nozzle is used as a tool for the robot. The range of the robot can be increased by moving it on a linear axis or a mobile chassis.

At the Technical University of Munich , intensive research on 3D printing in the building industry is carried out at the Chair for Timber and Building Construction. Despite all the pioneering achievements, the chair holder Klaudius Henke does not expect that the process will be used on a large scale in Germany by the end of the 2020s. Because "3D printing does not make sense in every case, but above all where geometrically complex components have to be realized in small quantities".


  • The formwork manufacturer Doka is investing in the US company Contour Crafting Corporation , which by 2018 had developed a mobile machine that "prints" the walls of a building with a working width of 8–12 m.
  • The Russian-American start-up Apis Cor prints the entire shell of a house with the help of robots and concrete. A small house with around 40 square meters of living space can be completely built in 24 hours at a price of around 10,000 euros. The shell, created by robots, is built in the conventional way.
  • The French company Xtreee , the Swiss company Mobbot and the Austrian company PrintStones offer 3D printing services in the EU using industrial robots.
  • BADGER (tunneling robot ) is an EU-funded research project to create an autonomously working earth drilling robot that produces the tunnel walls as a concrete 3D printer . BADGER is an apronym for "ro B ot for A utonomous un D er G round trenchless op ER ations, mapping and navigation" and at the same time the English word for badger .
  • In January 2019, the Saint-Gobin Weber Beamix plant was opened in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.It designs houses and bridges in collaboration with BAM and realizes them using 3D printing. The company soon announced: "We have built the world's first printed bridge". It is a pedestrian walkway in the municipality of Gemert. The structure "would also withstand a triple load", as tests showed. In contrast, the longest 3D-printed bridge in the world, at 28.1 meters by a Chinese university, is located in the Hebei province there.

Web links

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Mathias Näther, Venkatesh Naidu Nerella, Martin Krause, Günter Kunze, Viktor Mechtcherine, Rainer Schach: Concrete 3D printing - feasibility studies on continuous and formwork-free construction processes through 3D molding of fresh concrete. In: Fraunhofer Information Center for Space and Building IRB. Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2017, accessed on January 11, 2019 .
  2. Behrokh Khoshnevi's profile. Retrieved December 10, 2013 .
  3. a b c Building from a single source: Building experiments using the 3D printing process . In: Berliner Zeitung , real estate supplement, 4./5. January 2020, p. 3.
  4. Doka invests in houses made from the 3-D printer. In: orf.at , June 11, 2017, accessed on June 12, 2017.
  5. A 3D printing robot takes over the entire construction site hannovermesse.de, April 9, 2018.
  6. XtreeE imprime en 3D
  7. Viennese start-up shows mobile concrete 3D printer
  8. What is the BADGER project?
  9. Robot BADGER Can Drill Underground and 3D Print Tunnels
  10. Chinese university builds world's longest 3D-printed bridge. In: Xinhua. August 2, 2020, accessed on August 2, 2020 .