As we are being bombed with the environmental consequences of using CO2-emitting materials, companies are trying to find alternatives in using 3D printers to do the same jobs with less pollution. The 3D printing industry has been around for a while now and we have seen its ability to change the way we do everything, from bringing to life a child’s painting to developing human organs.
Now thanks to Vertico, the Netherlands-based 3D printing company in conjunction with the University of Ghent, we can add buildings to the list of what a 3D printer can do.
The theory knowledge and the practical one had joined their forces to print a concrete bridge out of a 3D printer, by depositing a specially designed concrete mixture layer by layer. According to Vertico, this process eliminates the need for expensive molds and more importantly provides more form freedom to structures.
“This bridge showcases the range of possibilities that 3D concrete printing offers. At Vertico, we believe that this technology is the key to unlocking material optimization in structures, reducing CO2 emissions whilst simultaneously increasing productivity in the construction industry,” said Volker Ruitinga, founder of Vertico in a press release.
Vertico’s 3D printed bridge
Innovation needed for the building industry
As Vertico said, the building industry is responsible for for 23% of global CO2 emission, and a need for innovation in this direction is urgent. Thankfully, 3D is here and can be a solution to the problem, which the building industry has been long resisting.
“This project demonstrates the possibilities of the technique on a relevant and significant scale. The advantage of 3D (concrete) printing are being increasingly recognized and with this acceptance, we will see more and more building and infrastructure projects such as this optimized bridge,” Vertico said in the press release. “The desire for material & CO2 reduction, automation & productivity trends and cost-effective production requirements make 3D concrete printing an innovation with a lot potential.”
The company is currently working on a 3D printing a concrete dome house. Production will enter the scene in February of 2020. It has already completed commissioned sculptures, an architectural facade, and two concrete canoes, as will be shown below.
Vertico commissioned concrete structure
Concrete facade made with a 3D printer