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01-10-2020 | Ceramics | News | Article

Germany’s First 3D Printed Residential Building

Author: Leyla Buchholz

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The company Heidelbergcement supplies the material for Germany’s first printed residential building made of concrete. The material “i.tech 3D” was developed by the subsidiary Italcementi specifically for 3D printing.

It is undoubtedly a milestone: for the first time in Germany, a residential building has come out of a printer. The two-story detached house in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia with about 80 m2 living space per floor consists of three-shelled walls filled with insulating compound. The premiere house is produced by a 3D concrete printer installed on site. The printing results of the material are convincing and the ground floor is almost standing.

“The development of a cement-bound material for 3D printing is a major challenge. It should be easy to pump and extrude,” says Dr. Jennifer Scheydt, Head of the Engineering & Innovation department at Heidelbergcement Germany. “It must also quickly develop a sufficient load-bearing capacity so that the lower layers do not give out under the load of the upper layers. At the same time, the bond between the layers must be ensured,” says Scheydt.

A new form of construction

The house in Beckum is printed by Peri, a manufacturer of formwork and scaffolding systems for the construction industry. The portal printer was developed by the company Cobod. The print head moves on a fixed metal frame in all three spatial axes. This enables the printer to move to any position within the construction. During the printing process, the printer also takes into account the pipes and fittings to be laid later, for example for water or electricity. This completely new construction technique performed for the first time in Germany has smoothly passed all official approval processes in recent weeks and months.

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