A consortium of companies that operate in the construction and in the construction 3D printing area are participating in a selection in Holland to present new concepts for automated production of 3D printed circular viaducts, as part of the HONEYCOMB project.
Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure, has challenged entrepreneurs to develop and validate circular solutions for viaducts. At the moment there is an insufficient validated supply of circular viaducts. Many existing solutions are not yet applicable on a large scale because further (technical) development is still required, or because the solution has not yet been sufficiently tested and validated.
Rijkswaterstaat is now thus carrying out an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program, looking for a total concept for a viaduct. This means that if the parties offer a partial solution, they must indicate how it fits into a total concept. The project proposal, named HONEYCOMB, brings together the current knowledge and experience of all parties. This SBIR tender is a unique opportunity to get circular viaducts to the market more quickly.
Movares, Studio Rap, Dywidag and Bruil Prefab Printing have now been working together for 5 years on the development of ‘digital concrete’; the 3D printing of precast concrete elements. The prefab printing of facade elements has now been brought to the market on a large scale. The challenge for the coming years is to bring this technique to the mature phase for heavily loaded structures.
In this collaboration, the parties are driven by the enormous potential of this sustainable technology. The main ingredients are found in the application of new sustainable (concrete) mixtures, parametric scalable design. This is also complemented by a strong reduction of material usage (> 60%) through 3D optimization of shapes and sections as well as the design, production and realization in a digital supply chain. This combination of elements makes the development of digital concrete truly disruptive.
The consortium was selected by Rijkswaterstaat as 1 of the 10 entries for a feasibility study. There will be a meeting on 7 October to present the plans to the other participants and the opportunity to ask questions to RWS. From the 10 feasibility studies, 3 plans will be selected for a pilot project, to be completed by mid-2022. The project has a total budget of € 5.4 million: a budget of € 900,000 is available for phase 1. The maximum amount per feasibility study (phase 1) is € 90,000; € 4,500,000 is available for phase 2. The maximum amount per project in phase 2 is € 1,500,000.