3D Printing

The Future of Concrete Printing with Imprimere AG

There is a growing popularity in 3D printed concrete forms in recent years, which has many people waiting for an age of 3D printed houses and buildings, as well as other indoor and outdoor structures. Impremere AG is one company who is developing their own methods for printing in concrete.

Imperemere AG was founded in 2015, though they recently formed a partnership with Niederberger Engineering AG this year, who are developing much bigger printers than the ones they are currently developing and selling. Their first 1063 model printers were sold to buyers in Italy.

Additive Manufacturing is known for its time and money saving abilities, and the printers at Imprimere are no different. Even in their smallest piece quantities, the 1063 model printer is up to 20 times cheaper conventionally making the parts. The printer itself has been developed to be used for free form parts as well as complicated concrete elements. However, the main intention of creating this printer model was so it could to print many sorts of models with minimal costs.

Current applications for the 1063 include:

•Concrete part manufacturing: Stairs, spiral staircases, facade elements, furniture

•Art and Horticulture:Sculptures / statues and free forms

Neiderberger Engineering AG currently has three employees working for Imprimere AG, who has only one employer at the moment. It’s impressive that such a small workforce has been able to be this successful. “Currently we are very busy, with the sourcing and the organization of the assembly of ordered printers. At the same time, we are working out to build our international sales structures,” says Simon Steinegger, CEO of Imprimere.

Though they are currently busy with their latest model of printer currently, Steinegger explains future plans for the companies, “Within the next three years it is planned to bring a house printer on the market. This printer will then be able to move vertically too.”

But can you really 3D print a house?

There have been some examples of models that are large enough to stand inside of, though it’ll be some time before we’ll see houses printed completely. There are projects in the works lead by various companies, though Steinegger  mentions how the printers his team are working on will also be able to print houses in the future. “Our models at moment are developed, to print some parts of houses like facade elements or stairs. Yes, in the sum we can print your dream house!”

How do they stand out from other companies?

Imprimere AG have said that they are the first worldwide printer with a fully automatic reinforcement system. “We pull the wire from the coil and we make it straight with our straightening unit. After we cut and transported the reinforcement to the robot. There the robot picks up and brings it in the right position. With our system you can build elements and parts which are EN- Standard compliant. With the same full automatic system, you can insert the element and the lifting systems.”

After structures have been printed and dried, they can be milled into more ornate shapes using the same machine.

“After printing, the formwork and the deposits of the reinforcement and lifting points, the component can be automatically filled with normal concrete,” says Steinegger.

Where do Imprimere AG see themselves in five years?

It is becoming more and more possible that future houses and buildings could either feature 3D printed parts, or be 3D printing themselves. This means that there is a rapidly emerging industry for concrete and building printing technology. Steinegger believes that Imprimere will be right up there as one of the best, “We see us as global providers of 3D concrete printer for prefabrication and houses.”

I’m excited to see how concrete printing and Imprimere AG changes the world!