“3D Printing Coming Soon” is one of the latest announcements on the Pikus Concrete website, showing a commitment to digital fabrication that may be sweeping the industry due to a wide range of benefits. Cement is an obvious partner for extrusion-based 3D printing, and industrial users are quite amenable to advantages such as savings on the bottom line, faster production, the ability to use new techniques, new materials, and, in some cases, create innovative prototypes and components not previously possible.
Based in Lehi, Utah, Pikus Concrete runs an extremely comprehensive enterprise, performing as much work in-house as possible. This presents another reason to use 3D printing, as the middleman can be eliminated, saving even more time and cost. This means designs can be easily created and changed, at any time—and quickly.
Pikus is now teaming up with Switzerland’s Sika as they continue to tap into the potential of 3D printing for construction. A concrete printer is now on-site in Lehi and the Pikus team has begun working with the new technology for planned construction projects.
Sika is an award-winning company, experienced in digital fabrication as well as determined to industrialize the concrete construction industry further via technologies like 3D printing. Sika also lends expertise in:
- Process control systems
- Extruding systems
- Concrete technology
- Mix design
- Formulation of 3D mortars
It is easy to see why Sika and Pikus Concrete would work together, as they are both extremely independent and hands-on in providing service to their customers, with Sika being the only company available to offer all the tools needed from one source for industrial 3D printing with concrete. One extremely positive change, along with more rapid manufacturing, is the ability to work without framework.
“We will be able to print our structural elements before a job even starts and ship them to the site when needed. Depending on the complexity of the structural element, this could save months of construction time and a lot of costs on a larger project,” says Rob Pikus.
Like so many others today, the team at Pikus believes strongly in the potential for 3D printing in construction:
“Right now we have invested over USD 3 million in this project. This includes a new building to accommodate the large 3D printer, the actual printer and the labor to get the process started. We undertook a lot of research to find the best 3D concrete printing technology. During a European tour, we met with Sika’s experts who explained their technologies and showed us an impressive live demonstration of the printer. This was really the turning point for Pikus. We knew we needed Sika’s expertise to put this process into practice.”
Pikus plans to invest heavily in 3D printing over the next few years, and the company is on a mission to see 20 printers distributed around the US by 2024.
As 3D printing in construction continues to evolve, we see continued advancements with residential homes, offices, and much more. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.
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