3D printing: printed concrete on jobsites
We are advancing the future of construction. In Switzerland, Creabeton Matériaux, a precasting subsidiary of the Vicat group, developed a new process for using its 3D printer. It took just 45 minutes for the company’s personnel to make a concrete telecoms chamber.
In October 2018, in Blumenstein, near Thun in Switzerland, the country’s leading telecoms company, Swisscom, called in the expertise of Creabeton Matériaux for the renovation and extension of its network. Using innovative 3D printing technology, it took the Swiss concrete company just 45 minutes to meet the customer’s requirement for a 3D-printed concrete chamber.
Our extrudable concrete made with locally available materials (cement, sand, and gravel) requires neither formwork nor reinforcement. The innovation lies in a process enabling the concrete to be printed and to harden rapidly; the parts made attain their structural strength in just 24 hours. For the Swisscom project, the custom-built telecoms chamber was delivered to the site by truck and installed in the excavation by the truck’s crane.
The innovation produced both time savings and a high-quality product. This genuine success opens up new avenues for planning, production and use of concrete products. While it has been established that concrete is perfectly suitable for 3D printing and that the complex procedures involved with formwork are on their way out, we are currently testing our technology with a view to using it for new applications.
« In the future the new process could be an interesting and effective solution for increasing numbers of fields. Freedom in terms of shapes, together with time savings, make it particularly attractive for custom-made products» explains Creabeton Matériaux Project Manager David