One of the leaders of the 3D printed construction movement has been 3D Printhuset. Late last year, the Danish company completed 3D printing on the Building on Demand, or BOD, the first 3D printed building in Europe to meet strict European building codes. Recently, 3D Printhuset developed the BOD2 construction 3D printer, an upgraded version of the original BOD1 that was used to 3D print the building. The BOD2 is 10 times faster than its predecessor and impressed the Belgian organization Kamp C so much that it awarded 3D Printhuset the first EU tender ever for a 3D construction printer. At 3DPrint.com we decided to interview the team at 3D Printhuset to find out more.
Kamp C is a center of sustainability and innovation in the building sector. Its mission includes spreading the use of 3D printing technology in construction particularly in the Flanders region of Belgium, and chose the BOD2 over several other contenders.
“We had – by far – the lowest price of the contenders,” 3D Printhuset CEO Henrik Lund-Nielsen told 3DPrint.com. Obviously this in itself together with the evaluation that we also technically had the best printer was important, but on top it also meant that Kamp C eventually actually decided for an even bigger version (444) of our printer, than originally proposed (version 333).”
The modular BOD2 allows customers to choose from several different printer sizes; Kamp C chose the 444 version which can 3D print buildings up to 9.5 meters in length and width and 8.3 meters in height. The newly developed 3D printer is faster and more robust than the BOD1, and creates a smoother surface finish thanks to the use of a square print nozzle rather than a round one. It can print at 30 cm per second, has three cameras to supervise the printing, and features an open materials system.
“Following our own BOD project we received many requests for the delivery of multiple sizes of printers,” said Michael Holm, Development Manager for 3D Printhuset. “We therefore knew that the new BOD2 printer had to be modular such that it would be very easy for our customers to quickly find the printer with the size that they wanted. We also knew how to improve this second version, as we learned great many things from doing The BOD with our first printer.”
According to 3D Printhuset, the BOD2 is the fastest construction 3D printer in the world, capable of moving the print head at 1 meter per second. At this speed, the BOD could have been 3D printed in just a few hours – and that’s an impressive statement coming from 3D Printhuset, which has made it a point to refute much of the “buildings 3D printed in hours!” hype around construction 3D printing.
“With such a speed the printer will be extruding almost 10 tons of concrete per hour. This is an incredible amount,” said 3D Printhuset Technical Manager Jakob Jørgensen. “However, it remains to be seen how much of this fantastic speed our customers are actually capable of utilizing in practice having in mind that the recipes and materials handling equipment must be capable of matching such speed. So far we have seen prints with a speed up to 30 cm per second, but as our customers become more experienced, we believe they will be able to utilize even more of the speed that our printer offers them.”
3D Printhuset has also developed a 3D printing course to further spread the knowledge of 3D construction printing, and has also published a wall price calculator to help customers determine the exact cost of 3D printing buildings. Interested parties can sign up for the 3D printing course, which will next take place on September 18th, here.
“From the hundreds of requests and visits we received from potential customers, we learned that especially two issues were holding the customers back: Lack of knowledge related to 3D construction printing and the uncertainty of the cost involved with 3D construction printing,” said Asger Dath, 3D Printhuset Communication Manager. “We therefore developed the cost price tool, which we gave public access to, and the open courses. The reception to both has been very positive and we are organizing the next open course after the summer in the middle of September, where we expect another fully booked event.”
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