Netherlands-based CyBe Additive Industries, founded in November 2013, is working on the development of 3D printing using concrete. Not only are they developing 3D printers — like the ProTo R 3DP, developed last year — but they have also come up with their own CyBe mortar.
Berry Hendriks, Founder/Owner at CyBe, took the time to fill in 3DPrint.com on some of the processes going on at the company, and we’re happy to share details of their mission and progress.
To start, it helps to know where the company is coming from, and the backgrounds of the people involved. Hendriks tells us that CyBe team members come from industrial backgrounds — specifically, construction, automation, and mechanical engineering. The inspiration for 3D printing for construction purposes came from a TEDx talk that really got the wheels turning in Hendriks’ mind.
“When I saw the presentation of Behrokh Khoshnevis on TEDx I thought by my self that it shouldn’t be hard to develop such a 3D printer,” said Hendriks. “The high tech construction method has multiple benefits compared to mid tech and low tech construction methods. Our aim [is] to change the current construction industry and solve multiple challenges by developing and utilizing industrial 3D printers.”
CyBe hopes to utilize their ProTo R 3DP — and the CyBe mortar — for construction purposes, though they have no plans to commercialize their 3D printers.
The CyBe team “developed the ProTo R 3DP from scratch,” Hendriks noted. “The difficult part is to tune the hardware on the curing process of the concrete and get known what all the factors which occur during 3D printing of concrete. We’ve performed multiple experiments, as you can see on our website ([which] is still under construction).”
Hendriks shared some of the specs for CyBe’s ProTo R 3DP with us, as well. He tell us that the ProTo R 3DP:
- Is based on a robot with a range of 3.150mm
- Prints at a speed of 175mm/sec while using a printhead 30mm x 30mm
- Has a 30mm layer
- Has a printhead that can be switched, adjusting the printing speed 10mm/sec – 400mm/sec
The printer is incredibly interesting, of course, but so is the mortar with which it creates new buildings. The CyBe mortar, said Hendriks, was “developed together with a partner” and utilizes a proprietary, confidential composition. Hendriks could tell us of the mortar that it has “32% less CO2 production compared with regular concrete, within 1 hour bearable and within 24 hour[s] the hydration process is finished.” These qualities seem to indicate a very easy to work with material that will be printed quickly and set nicely into the finished form. Hendriks pointed out that their 3D printers can print using “any paste like material such as plaster,” in addition to their proprietary mortar.
During a recent test, as shown on their YouTube video, CyBe printed out a 41-layered concrete wall within half an hour, demonstrating the impressive speed with which their ProTo R 3DP prints, as well as the ease of use of their mortar. The finished wall had dimensions of 3.8 x 400 x 1.23 mm, and Hendriks told us that “printing speed is 160mm/s, layer thickness is 30mm.”
CyBe will also soon be starting development of the “CyBe No. 1 3DP which will be a modular mobile 3DP based on a gantry to 3D print onsite,” says Hendriks. They are presently “looking to partner with a proper investor” toward that end.
CyBe Additive Industries operates via three divisions, which Hendriks describes:
- Research and Development
- perform experiments and develop new 3DP technology
- produce specific 3DPs and maintain our own 3DPs, lease them to the Production division
- produce 3D products by utilizing our 3DPs
They have been performing significant amounts of tests for their products (be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the page!) and, in addition to more experiments in January, plan to start a research program this month. Testing this month will include R&D focused on the printhead, “in order to create windows as well as develop a printhead to 3D print smaller layers [of] 5mm.” The research program, focusing on 3D printing of sustainable concrete structures, will see CyBe partner up with seven other interests and the University of Eindhoven.
They expect to continue development on their first 3D printer, as well as tests with their printers and mortar, and Hendriks advises that we stay tuned to their website for more updates. They are also sharing updates and news on their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube pages, making sure to keep lines of communication open with interested parties.
Do you think 3D printing with concrete will take off this year? Let us know your insights over at the CyBe 3D Concrete Printing forum thread at 3DPB.com. Check out the video of CyBe’s printer in action, and some photos of their production and planning below.