Kamp C buys ultra high speed 3D printer from Danish pioneer 3D Printhuset

Flemish construction companies will soon be able to experiment with 3D printing. Kamp C teamed up with Denmark’s 3D Printuset to buy the new technology. The state-of-the-art printing technology will be available from the end of 2018.

The printer that Kamp C purchased is a classic gantry model, with a print head that moves freely within the three dimensions of a frame. The printer is 11.4 x 10 x 10 meters and can print a building that is up to 8.3 meters high, 9.5 meters wide and 6 meters deep. The machine is modular: it can be made larger or smaller by adding extensions (2.5 metres) in height, length and width. This modular technology is unique in the world of 3D printing.

Space for innovation

The printer that was developed by 3D Printhuset can move very quickly from one side of the frame to the other: up to a metre per second. This makes it one of the fastest 3D printers in the world. Although this does not mean that the construction process will be going at that pace. Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of 3D Printhuset, said: “The pace depends on how quickly the building material is ‘spit out’ through the printer. Kamp C will therefore have to look for methods to optimise the speed of the material. It goes without saying that liquid materials are faster and more agile than rigid materials.

Henrik Lund-Nielsen still sees some possibilities for innovation for Kamp C. “One issue that requires more research is the problem of ‘overhang’: walls that show a slight curvature and in which the material layers are only partly supported by each other. Which (local) material types are solid enough to make this overhang possible? Even the printing of multi-storey houses is still largely unknown territory today. “Horizontally, a floor for printing is hardly done today. Kamp C can give the construction industry a boost in this area by means of extensive research.

More form freedom, less cement

With the purchase of this printer, the step to 3D printing will be a lot smaller for Flemish construction companies. Henrik Lund-Nielsen is convinced that these companies will also appreciate the benefits of 3D printing. “With our printer, companies can determine down to the last millimetre how they want to construct their building. In addition, a 3D printer offers much more freedom of form to architects. Because this is an automated process, productivity and efficiency are also increasing. In addition, a 3D printer provides safer and better working conditions. Of course, one of the most important advantages for construction companies is the time they can save with a 3D printer: time is money, also in the construction sector.

Moreover, a 3D printer can reduce the ecological footprint of the construction industry, says Henrik Lund-Nielsen: “The traditional construction sector is a big sinner in terms of material waste.  With a 3D printer, you can only use the material you really need: no more and no less. Within the world of 3D printing, new – often recycled – materials are also being experimented with to a great extent. “The cement industry is known as the most polluting manufacturing industry in the world. 3D printing offers new opportunities for the sector to reduce the use of cement and to make it greener.

Revolution in the construction sector?

According to the Danish CEO, the fact that the introduction of the printer at Camp C will have a positive impact on the Flemish construction sector is beyond dispute: “It is, however, too early to say exactly in which way. It’s up to innovation centres such as Kamp C to explore the possibilities of the technology to the fullest. Only then will we see in which areas of the construction industry 3D printing can revolutionize.