Construction 3D Printing

The AEC industry consists of three separate segments: architecture, engineering and construction. Thus, by integrating these seemingly separate entities into a single industry, ACE professionals can work more efficiently. For architects, engineers, and contractors alike, construction 3D printing represents the full integration of these approaches.

Over the past two decades, these segments have undergone a deep transformation by adopting digital and 3D technologies. As a result, architecture first, and engineering shortly thereafter, have already embraced the digital manufacturing workflow. On the other hand, the construction segment has only recently begun to look at 3D printing and the use of digital additive technologies. The potential to replace “analogic” practices and manual labor is a huge opportunity.

Change is inevitable

While it appears inevitable, the shift toward construction 3D printing is not going to be an easy and seamless transition. Furthermore, the construction industry has typically been slow to embrace technology. This is now changing for the good. The use of technology to deliver projects is accelerating. The appropriate use of the correct technologies can help to deliver successful projects.

From just 10 firms active in 2017, 3dpbm‘s 3D Printing Business Directory now lists over 40 Construction 3D Printer Hardware Manufacturers and nearly 50 Construction 3D Printing Service Providers (some companies are the same as hardware manufacturers also provide services). The most relevant trend that manifested over the past three-year period is that large material firms (such as St Gobain, Heidelberg Cements/Italcementi and LaFargeHolceim) and several large real estate investment funds are becoming involved directly through partnerships and acquisitions.

A global opportunity

Relevant initiatives are taking place in every continent, with markets in China, Russia, MEMA and Europe (mainly Holland, Denmark, Germany but also Spain and Italy) leading the way. North America is now becoming much more actively involved and taking up a leadership role in many approaches (especially in terms of off-grid and sustainable housing or defense applications). Relevant opportunities for affordable 3D printed housing are also expected to rise in emerging and developing economies.

Multi-story (up to 4) capabilities are now starting to become available. Furthermore, construction 3D printing is not just for housing: applications include restorations, bridges, pedestrian passageways, river revetment walls, statues, furniture, fences, fountains… In this rapidly developing context, the multi-trillion dollar construction segment is soon to be dramatically disrupted.

  • Apis Cor to sell shares under Regulation A+ offering

    Apis Cor is the first construction 3D printing pure player to receive official Regulation A+ qualification by the SEC to begin offering shares to both accredited and non-accredited investors. Regulation A is an exemption from registration for public offerings with two offering tiers: Tier 1, for offerings of up to…

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  • ESA looks to build new home in space with off-Earth manufacturing

    Activities are set to intensify in 2022, as we get closer to the date (2024) that ESA and NASA have planned for humanity’s return to the Moon. The ESA Discovery program has been supporting groups from industry and academia to develop technologies for off-Earth manufacturing. Last November, a public online symposium…

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  • Dutch House of Representatives gets 3D printed circular canopy

    Bart Kellerhuis the creative director of Zecc Architecten is responsible for the temporary accommodation of the Dutch House of Representatives, more commonly known as ‘Tweede Kamer’. Zecc created a custom version of Aectual technology‘s Weave panels to design a unique circular canopy for the building. Winner of the ‘Dutch architect…

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  • World’s largest real concrete building 3D printed by GUtech university

    On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, the German University of Technology in Oman, GUtech, completed 3D printing the walls of what so far is the largest 3D printed building in made with real concrete. The importance of the event was marked by the presence of His Excellency Sultan Al-Habsi, Minister of Finance…

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  • SpaceX 3D prints building extension at Texas Starbase

    Construction 3D printing blogger Jarret Gross, who has collaborated with 3dpbm in the past, just published a new video where he exclusively reveals the first concrete 3D printed building by SpaceX, using Apis Cor technology. It is a rather basic addition to a SpaceX community building called The Hub but…

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  • D.fab promises 90% cost reduction in concrete 3D printing materials

    Concrete 3D printing of building shells has grown considerably in the last few years, with more and more building shells being 3D printed, even buildings with up to 3 floors and windmill towers. However, the high cost of 3D printing mortars has prevented more widespread and large-scale application on multi-unit…

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  • Mvule Gardens, Africa’s largest 3D printed affordable housing project

    Over three billion people are expected to need affordable housing by 2030. This issue is most acute in Africa, with countries like Kenya already facing an estimated shortage of two million houses. With 3D printing, constructions giant Holcim wants to be part of the solution via the joint venture 14Trees.…

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  • MAI International partners with Vertico on construction 3D printers

    Vertico has signed a partnership agreement with MAI International to distribute its construction 3D printers along with a range of 3D concrete printing specific accessories Both companies have worked hard over the past years to innovate in the field of 3D concrete printing and have established highly complementary positions MAI…

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  • (Not) just another print of a wall

    The integration of 3D printing processes into architecture is no longer a novelty. The advantages that additive manufacturing offers architects are also widely known. Complex geometries can be realized more easily, costs can be saved, and functionalities can be integrated directly into designs and construction plans. This integration of functions,…

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  • This company is serially 3D printing custom manholes for drainage

    Pipelife is the first company to apply automated 3D printing and software to produce customized manhole and inspection chamber flow profiles for drainage systems. After a great deal of development work since the first printer was introduced 1.5 years ago, Pipelife is preparing to roll out 3D printing to the…

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