Architecture

"Fastest 3D construction printer" tackles 3-story apartment

"Fastest 3D construction print...
Once complete, the building will measure 380 sq m (4,090 sq ft) and include five apartments
Once complete, the building will measure 380 sq m (4,090 sq ft) and include five apartments
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The apartment building is expected to take six weeks to print, though human builders will then step in and finish off the project by installing a roof, windows, electrical fittings, and so on
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The apartment building is expected to take six weeks to print, though human builders will then step in and finish off the project by installing a roof, windows, electrical fittings, and so on
The BOD 2 3D printer prints at a maximum speed of 100 cm (39 in) per second, which is equivalent to printing 10 tons of concrete per hour, says COBOD
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The BOD 2 3D printer prints at a maximum speed of 100 cm (39 in) per second, which is equivalent to printing 10 tons of concrete per hour, says COBOD
The construction process itself is similar to most other 3D-printed architecture projects we've covered and involves extruding a cement mixture out of a nozzle in layers, gradually building each wall
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The construction process itself is similar to most other 3D-printed architecture projects we've covered and involves extruding a cement mixture out of a nozzle in layers, gradually building each wall
Once complete, the building will measure 380 sq m (4,090 sq ft) and include five apartments
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Once complete, the building will measure 380 sq m (4,090 sq ft) and include five apartments
View gallery - 4 images

3D printing is a very exciting area of architecture at the moment, with new advancements seemingly announced every few months. Following news of an entire 3D-printed community and a 3D-printed two-story home, a three-story apartment building is now being built in Germany using what's described as the fastest 3D construction printer on the market.

The project is led by German formwork and scaffolding firm Peri for the Michael Rupp Bauunternehmung construction company. Once complete, it will measure roughly 380 sq m (4,090 sq ft), spread over three floors, plus a basement level, and consist of five apartments, four of which will be rented out, with one used as a show home.

The apartment building will be printed on-site using COBOD's BOD 2 printer. The BOD 2 is modular and for this project measures 12.5 x 15 x 7.5 m (41 x 49 x 24 ft). It prints at a maximum speed of 100 cm (39 in) per second, which is equivalent to printing 10 tons of concrete per hour, making it "currently the fastest 3D construction printer available on the market," according to Peri.

The construction process itself is similar to most other 3D-printed architecture projects we've covered and involves the printer extruding a cement mixture out of a nozzle in layers, gradually building each wall. It requires two human operators and other human construction work is also going on while the printer is in use too.

The construction process itself is similar to most other 3D-printed architecture projects we've covered and involves extruding a cement mixture out of a nozzle in layers, gradually building each wall
The construction process itself is similar to most other 3D-printed architecture projects we've covered and involves extruding a cement mixture out of a nozzle in layers, gradually building each wall

"During the printing process, the printer takes into account the pipes and connections for water, electricity, etc. that are to be laid at a later time," explains Peri. "The BOD2 has been certified in such a way that it is possible to carry out work within the printing area while printing is in progress. This means that manual work, such as the installation of empty pipes and connections, can be easily integrated into the printing process."

The project is now well underway and the first floor has already been completed, with the entire process expected to take six weeks to complete. However, some human construction work will still remain, such as electrical fittings and plumbing, for example. We'll be sure to check in on the building once it's completed.

Sources: COBOD, Peri

View gallery - 4 images
8 comments
paul314
If that part about being able to work inside the structure while it's going up is true, that could be a game changer. So much easier to lay pipes and wires down in grooves than to thread them through holes. And if you can place windows and doors during construction you don't need extra bridging support for the concrete...
Username
How is the second floor poured?
Jeffery Green
I don't see cement as energy efficient for living in. What is the energy consumption like for this kind of building?
SteveMc
I’m guessing the manual labour involves laying timber/composite floors and the printer just deals with the vertical elements of the construction?
buzzclick
If it can't be done cheaper and faster, and in the end a competitively efficient product, then it's not gonna fly.
bahbah
Better to use foam concrete, lighter, cheaper, better insulation, better earthquake resistance . It can be reinforced with fibre for added strength.
Stan Mitchell
how long will it last?probably needs waterproofing
Stan Mitchell
precast walls ,that bolt together is better i think