3D Printing News Unpeeled: Silicone Support and Concrete in New Zealand and Saudi

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Support material for silicone has been difficult to do. Now a team at the University of Florida has developed a material that has low interfacial tension between itself and the silicone 3D print material. This let the team print with both RTV and UV cured off the shelf silicone materials. They can print details of 4 nanometers and parts 8 nanometers across. This could be a considerable step towards 3D printed medical devices and components.

3D Printing firm QOROX 3D printed walls for a day care center in New Zealand. Refreshingly the company is hoping to 3D print commercial structures such as safety barriers, planter boxes and stormwater collection systems rather than housing. This is exactly the point I tried to make in my 3D printing concrete article where I point to other components being potentially more profitable. The printer used is one by CyBe construction. The team is also interested in using textures to change the look of structures. 

In Saudi Arabia a COBOD 3D printer has been used by developer Dar Al Arkan to print a 9.9 meter 330 square meter three story villa. The firm says that it is the tallest 3D printed building and was a 26 day 3D print. The print was successful despite the desert heat (and nightly cold) and the villa is compliant with local building codes. The Al Arkan team hopes make tailored homes pursuant to clients´ wishes using 3D printing.

Now this is the very interesting part to me, Al Arkan used CEMEX D.fab material which it said used 99% Saudi materials and 1% imported material. Meanwhile QOROX stated that it could use 80% local New Zealand materials while it had to import 20%. To me it’s notable that both companies would mention this in their press releases. Also could this potentially be a significant advantage for COBOD? Could less overseas material mean that they have a cost advantage? 

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