Foster + Partners works on "world’s first commercial concrete-printing robot"

“We have been convinced of its viability in the lab, but it now needs the industry to adapt the technology to service real applications in construction and architecture,” said   Loughborough University researcher   Richard Buswell, who has been working on the project since 2007. The device could significantly reduce the time it takes to produce concrete building elements, making it an even more cost-effective material within the construction industry. “We have reached a point where new developments in construction manufacturing are required to meet the new challenges and our research has sought to respond to that challenge.”
Skanska and Loughborough University have signed an agreement to share the licence to the technology. Norman Foster’s architecture firm is part of the team working with Swedish concrete manufacturer Skanska to develop the technology to robotically 3D print high-performance concrete, which could be used to build architectural structures. This time last year a British architect also claimed to have designed and installed the first approved 3D-printed components in the construction industry. “3D concrete printing, when combined with a type of mobile prefabrication centre, has the potential to reduce the time needed to create complex elements of buildings from weeks to hours,” said Rob Francis,   Skanska’s director of innovation and business improvement. Related story: Arup unveils its first 3D-printed structural steel building componentsThe computer-controlled machine would work by precisely laying down   successive layers of concrete, via a gantry and a robotic arm. News: Foster + Partners has teamed up with building contractor Skanska to pioneer the use of 3D-printed concrete in the construction industry.

Updated: 27.11.2014 — 01:48