A partnership between Bruil and 3Dealise has produced a unique method of 3D printing concrete.
Bruil is a Dutch company specializing in producing concrete structures for construction projects, while 3Dealise is a Londo-based operation that provides various 3D-based services, including 3D printing and scanning.
The two companies used each others’ expertise to develop a method to produce 3D print-originated moderately-sized concrete items. 3Dealise uses their 3D printers (which appear to be an ExOne S-Max) to print huge molds that accept liquid concrete mixtures. The printed molds are specially treated to ensure they easily release the cured concrete.
The molds can be up to 1800 x 1000 x 700mm in size, but by careful design, they can stack several together to create even larger molds. These can be used to produce the desired concrete structures at the worksite, or can be used at a factory to pre-make the structures for shipment to the worksite. Depending on the function and geometry of the structure, Bruil can employ any of several specialized mixes to achieve optimum results.
There have been many experiments into concrete 3D printing, but we haven’t seen any that have become viable commercially yet. However, this venture may be successful, if Bruil can sell the concept to their clients. It’s likely they will have to team with architectural firms to demonstrate they can design concrete features not previously possible with conventional techniques.