In the realm of construction 3D printing, bigger always seems to be better, as companies scale up their concrete 3D printing systems to build houses on the spot. Andrey Rudenko, the inventor of the 3D Concrete House 3D printer, however, is showing that there is value in scaling the technology down.
Rudenko’s company, Total Kustom, is introducing the LAByrinth, a compact, customizable concrete 3D printer, which will enable the pursuit of scientific research in the field of construction AM. The small scale concrete 3D printer will be used in R&D settings to develop special concrete mixes and printing inks for construction AM.
According to Rudenko, who posted the announcement on social media, the LAByrinth 3D printer was developed to meet recurring requests from R&D labs. The laboratory-grade concrete 3D printer comes with a customizable print envelope measuring from 1 x 1 x 1 meters up to 5 x 5 x 3 meters, meaning that labs can order a bespoke concrete 3D printer that will fit into their space.
Unlike the company’s industrial construction 3D printers, the lab-grade machine will not come equipped with an automatic mixing station, as labs will likely have the mixing and pumping equipment necessary for printing small parts.
Interestingly, the LAByrinth 3D printer is apparently similar to the 3D printer model that was used by Rudenko in 2014 to 3D print his famous concrete castle. In fact, his company says it has a similar 3D printer model at its own R&D lab for conducting in-house experiments.
Priced at between $150,000 and $200,000, the new concrete 3D printer is aimed primarily at universities seeking to advance construction 3D printing technologies and materials. When purchased, the 3D printer will be shipped as a kit (thus requiring some self-assembly) and will come with one week of free training.
The new hardware complements Total Kustom’s industrial construction 3D printer, the StroyBot 6.2, which has a build capacity of up to 10 x 15 x 4-6 meters (depending on the frame material). In terms of specifications, the LAByrinth has a maximum print speed of 40 mm/s, X/Y precision of 1-2 mm and Z precision of 0.5-1 mm. The 3D printer can be fitted with a nozzle ranging in diameter from 15 to 40 mm.