The Netherlands has proven to be a fertile environment for construction 3D printing, with established construction companies like Bruil and BAM embracing concrete 3D printing as a building method, and technology developers like CyBe and Vertico paving the way to new applications and more adoption. Vertico, a young Dutch company specializing in robotic concrete 3D printing, is now expanding its footprint, with the opening of a new 3D printing facility in the city of Eindhoven.
Eindhoven is already home to two construction-focused 3D printing facilities: one at the Technical University of Eindhoven—a leader in construction AM research–and the BAM/Weber Beamix factory, which became operational earlier this year. While both of these sites focus primarily on the use of 3D printing to produce large structures, Vertico will utilize its technology and new facility to pursue architectural applications, such as fine detailing for buildings.
Volker Ruitinga, Founder of Vertico, explained the strategic decision to open up its new facility in the Dutch city: “We decided to set up shop in Eindhoven as it is the tech capital of the Netherlands and, with two other local printing facilities, perhaps the concrete printing capital of the world.”
Vertico’s new factory will house three ABB industrial robots, each with a different configuration. One of the robots, for instance, is set on a seven-meter track and can print objects as wide as 10 meters. The industrial robotic platforms are each fitted with a deposition head capable of extruding a special concrete mixture to build up structures with complex forms and shapes.
The facility will handle on-demand printing, though Vertico also sells its concrete 3D printing solution, including the robotic assembly as well as its own slicing software. The young firm has also developed its own printable concrete mixture in collaboration with the De Huizenprinters consortium, though its platform is not bound to the one material.
Interestingly, the company says that it is working with De Huizenprinters to print a tiny house using its technology and is in the process of perfecting a two-component nozzle that will enable the extruded concrete material to harden in seconds.