At the international Bautec construction exhibition in Berlin, Danish 3D printing construction company COBOD provided a live demonstration of its technology by 3D printing the walls of 4 small houses for the duration of the event, from 18 to 21 February.
The demonstration was completed using the BOD2 3D construction printer, located at the stand of PERI Group, an international manufacturer of formwork and scaffolding, and the German distributor of COBOD’s 3D printers.
With the live demonstration, COBOD intended to provide an uncut example of its construction 3D printing technology in action to visitors of the exhibition: “It is so easy to video film a 3D construction printer in action and then edit out anything unplanned occurring during the printing to produce a nice looking video in the end,” comments Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of COBOD. “There are so many examples out there with heavily edited and manipulated content, far from what is happening with the same printer in real life printing.”
“When you print live, it is not possible to hide anything. With this live printing we are documenting, that our technology has the quality, robustness and stability to perform hour after hour, day after day.”
The BOD2 3D printer
COBOD, originally established by Danish 3D printing reseller, service provider and developer 3D Printhuset, launched the BOD2 3D printer in 2018 as an upgrade to the BOD, which produced the first 3D printed building in Europe in 2017, located in Copenhagen.
The BOD2 3D printer is a modular machine capable of printing buildings with measurements of 12m in width, 27m in length and 9m in height. The size of the 3D printer can be extended with modules in width, length and height of 2.5 meters. Its maximum capacity can accommodate 6 modules for width equaling 15 meters, and 4 modules in height, coming up to 10 meters, whereas there are no restrictions for length.
It has a potential maximum speed of 100 cm/second, however due to limitations caused by materials and pumping equipment, it has thus far achieved a maximum speed of 40 cm/second. Furthermore, COBOD also claims that the BOD2 can produce three storey buildings in one go, with each storey capable of being more than 300 square meters in length.
COBOD has sold 7 of its BOD2 construction 3D printers. Customers include the likes of Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and construction company Elite for Construction & Development Co. DTU is using the system for R&D purposes, in order to develop new manufacturing processes for the construction industry. Elite on the other hand bought the BOD2 3D printer in order to fulfil Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to improve the country’s economy and housing through pillars of innovations, i.e., modern construction techniques.
Additionally, Belgian sustainable building company Kamp C is also using the BOD2 system as part of its €1.6 million project to build the appropriate infrastructure for additive manufacturing in construction. COBOD first won the Kamp C C3PO project contract in 2018.
Improvements to the BOD2
At PERI’s stand at Bautec, COBOD was able to publicly present improvements it made to the BOD2 3D printer for the first time. This includes an updated extrusion system, that equipped the printed walls with a smoother finish. Additionally, COBOD developed a new method for setting up the BOD2, involving premade concrete feet unto which the Z-axis are mounted. This reduces the setup time by 50 percent, allowing the printer to be set up in a new location in 4 hours. The BOD2 3D printer brought to Bautec was 5 meters in width, length and height.
Henrik Lund-Nielsen concluded the announcement by explaining: “We use this occasion to also show some of the improvements, that we have made since we launched the BOD2 last year. Especially I am glad to show, that our finishing quality of the 3D printed walls now is so good, that only minimal plastering is needed afterwards to arrive at the desired quality. All in all we are very happy to be able to showcase our technology live here at Bautec and by the many visitors we have here spending half an hour or more on taking videos and photos, I do believe the visitors are also very happy with what they see”.
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Featured image shows timelapse of the live 3D printing demonstration. Video via COBOD.