Sep 29, 2017 | By Benedict

Cazza Construction, the Silicon Valley startup that has promised to “revolutionize” construction using additive manufacturing, has offered a first glimpse at its Cazza X1 3D printing robot. The company says the robot could rebuild homes in disaster zones like the areas hit by Hurricane Harvey.

There are many companies vying to take control of the fledgling construction 3D printing sector. Just look at some of the weird and wonderful 3D printed buildings that have been erected over the last few years, and check out the work of companies like Apis Cor, MX3D, and CyBe Construction to see the range of new technologies on offer.

Few construction 3D printing specialists, however, are as sleek as Cazza Construction. With an impossibly young management team (co-founders Chris Kelsey and Fernando De Los Rios are 20 and 27, respectively), a base in Silicon Valley, and contracts for 3D printed buildings in Dubai, Cazza looks more and more like it could be the Uber or Facebook of construction 3D printing.

That’s the positive stuff, but there is of course a rather large question mark hanging over Cazza Construction: nobody has seen the company’s supposedly game-changing 3D printing robot—possibly because it doesn’t exist yet.

Of course, the company has every right to keep its technology under wraps. After all, this is a startup aiming for big money, so it’s not going to be making its printing robot open source any time soon. However, there’s a certain vagueness about the company’s description of its build process. Sentences like “With the touch of a button, Cazza’s robot will start printing your dream project” are tantalizing, but not exactly explanatory.

The product page for the Cazza X1 3D printing robot at least offers a few dimensions and other specs, stating that the robot’s main robotic arm can lift 90 kg with a maximum frontal reach of 3.9 meters. This reach can be extended to 4.7 meters with the robot’s telescopic range extender, while a hydraulic height extender extends the robot’s maximum total height by 1.1 meters to 5.5 meters.

This week, things got a little clearer—if not totally transparent—with Cazza posting a YouTube video of its Cazza X1 3D printing robot in action. Sort of.

It’s actually a 3D rendering of what the robot will probably look like, revealing that the robot will move on caterpillar tracks and use a long, crane-like arm to move its printing nozzle into place. We could probably have envisioned both of these features, but it’s nice to at least have an image of what Cazza has been doing behind the scenes.

Two days after posting that video, Cazza then posted a press release explaining how the X1 (the real version, not the rendering) could be used to rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters like hurricanes.

Given the recent destruction caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it’s understandable why Cazza would want to emphasize this potential application for the X1. Although the company’s work in Dubai will involve building experimental, perhaps luxury dwellings, the on-site 3D printing robot can purportedly use speed to its advantage to quickly fabricate homes for displaced citizens in disaster zones.

“It might sound like science fiction, but Cazza’s 3D printing robots are here today,” Cazza writes in the press release. “The Cazza X1 is a robot designed to build ‘houses, villas, shelters, warehouses, prefab modules, commercial buildings, and freestanding structures’ in just seven days using the layering technique common to 3D printing.”

Cazza also puts forward a few statistics about the X1, saying it can deliver a 40 per cent cost decrease, a saving that could “add up to hundreds of millions of dollars over even a single year.” The company adds that its concrete structures dry in just seven days, compared to the typical 28, after which their concrete stress strength measures at 47 MPa.

“As millions of Americans begin the clean up in Florida from Hurricane Irma, shouldn’t we be thinking of how best to handle the aftermath of this inevitably when it strikes?” Cazza asks, before adding that it has “at least one answer to this regular and expensive problem.”

Cazza is currently accepting pre-orders for the X1, which costs $480,000+. The Cazza X1 Core, a more advanced machine, costs $620,000+.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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Jim L wrote at 10/4/2017 8:21:39 PM:

Very skeptical.....Will believe it when I see it. Not until then.



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