Sep 7, 2017 | By Julia

Danish 3D printing company 3D Printhuset has embarked on the exciting new initiative of 3D printing a Building on Demand (BOD) in Copenhagen. Measuring up at just under 50 square metres, the small “office hotel” is made of 3D printed concrete, and counts itself as one of the first 3D printed buildings in Europe that meets official regulations.

Those following the rapidly expanding 3D printed construction sector will know that the race for 3D printed housing has been going full throttle for some time now. 3D Printhuset credits inspiration to companies such as Winsun, TotalKustom, and Apis Core who have undertaken additively manufactured construction projects in Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. Several EU countries have also followed suite: Acciona’s 3D printed bridge in Spain, Xtree’s benches, pavilions, and columns in France, and Cybe Construction’s 3D printed initiatives in the Netherlands all deserve mention.

3D Printhuset’s claim to fame, however, is that Europe has thus far not seen a building made entirely of 3D printed concrete that fulfills the EU’s strict buildings codes. The nearly completed BOD, on the other hand, can boast the status of receiving an official permit and following full accordance of European norms and standards.

As 3D Printhuset CEO Henrik Lund-Nielson noted, the BOD has been a long time coming. “Following our participation in the Danish government-funded research project ‘3D Construction Printing’ and our research into and visits to over 35 3D construction projects all over the world, we saw the need for proving that the 3D print technology successfully could be applied for buildings, also in Europe and in full compliance with the strict building regulations we have here,” Lund-Nielson said in a statement. “The BOD building that we have begun constructing using on-site 3D printing of concrete in Copenhagen Harbour is that proof.”

3D Printhuset CEO Henrik Lund-Nielson

As a project whose chief goal is to demonstrate and inspire others in the field, 3D Printhuset has intentionally downplayed the technical specs of their 3D printing system. In the company’s own words, the purpose of the BOD is not to showcase any particular 3D printing solution, but rather to demonstrate that 3D printing technology can be successfully brought to buildings in Europe while complying with EU building regulations. Nevertheless, the Danish 3D printing company has revealed that a gantry-type printer with external dimensions of 8 x 8 x 6 metres and a print speed of 2.5 metres per minute was used on the project. 3D Printhuset’s system is capable of printing 20 millimetre-high layers, with a width that can range from 50 - 70 mm.

The custom-designed BOD also aims to show the flexibility of 3D printing, in some cases literally: architect Ana Goidea designed the 3D printed building with curved walls in addition to a bespoke “ripple effect” inspired by organic structures. As 3D Printhuset’s technical manager Jakob Jørgensen noted, “With traditional building techniques any shape that is organic or non-straight is a challenge, technically as well as with respect to costs. The BOD does not contain any straight lines or walls, the only straight elements being the windows and doors as with 3D construction printing low cost automatized fabrication of organic shapes is possible.” He added that the BOD contains even a partly 3D printed foundation, in addition to its 3D printed walls.

 

The company reports that the BOD construction is moving along quickly. The building’s basis foundation has already been laid down, a building tent has been erected, and the printer is installed on site and currently printing the upper part of the foundation and walls. Company reps expect construction to be complete sometime this fall.

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony and press event will take place on Monday, September 11, where live 3D printing can also be seen in action.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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