In May of this year, we reported on an enigmatic Slovenian company that was ready to take orders for house printers, ranging in price from about €12,000 to €32,000. I’d emailed the company, BetAbram, to ask some follow-up questions, but had heard no response. The company has now sent us the following video, however, illustrating that their machines do, in fact, extrude building materials!
I’ve contacted them again for more information, but for now, there’s plenty to see on their Facebook page. So far, it looks as though the company has 3D printed a small set of stairs with their equipment and seen a visit from Slovenian Olympian hammer thrower Primož Kozmus. The company has also stated that they use a concrete material mixed with additives for their printing process. Other details about their machines can be gleaned from an FAQ page they published on Google Drive.
According to the FAQ, BetAbram will be releasing three printers: the P1, P2, and P3. The P1 will be 2000mm tall by 9000mm wide by 16000mm deep, weighing about 250kg (500kg with its rails). The P2 will measure 2000mm x 6000mm x 12000mm and weigh about 200kg/400kg, while the P3 will measure 2000mm x 3000mm x 4000mm and weigh P3-180kg/200kg. They can extrude cement in layers of 25 cm in height, but each layer requires 4-5 hours to dry, which is a huge obstacle that I believe has been overcome by Andrey Rudenko, who constructed a small castle in his backyard earlier this year. The company also states that they’re working on better materials to print more material at a given time.
Much of this information seems preliminary, but BetAbram told 3D Printer Plans in May that the company has built all three models of their construction printers and would have the software for P1 and P2 ready by this September. Their FAQ adds that, if you do purchase one of their machines, not only will you have support from their engineering team, but that they’ll even come to you to assemble your printer and get it running. The process of building the printer, made to order, is approximated to be about 2 months, while assembling it is estimated to take between 2 and 10 hours.
BetAbram, according to the FAQ, has been in business since 2008 and has been developing their house printers since 2013. And, in case you had any doubts about Slovenian businesses, they add, “Companies from Slovenia are generally adopting high standards strategies and focus on the market segments interest in high technology or quality. You can find out more about Slovenia here: http://businessculture.org/southern-europe/business-culture-in-slovenia/.”
There have been a few different house printing stories to come out this year, but, as far as I know, BetAbram is the first company to actually try to sell construction printers. And, when news trickles in about the sorts of sales they’ve made, things could start getting exciting.