The first house printed using mobile 3D printing technology has been built in Stupino town, Moscow region. The Apis Cor and PIK companies have successfully completed the project.
How it was built
In December 2016, the Apis Cor company in cooperation with PIK proceeded to print the building using a mobile 3D printer. Construction took place at the Apis Cor company's test facility in the town of Stupino, on the territory of the Stupino aerated concrete factory. Printing of self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were done in less than a day: pure machine time of printing amounted to 24 hours. After completing the wall structures, the printer was removed from the building with a crane-manipulator. The area of the printed building is 38 m².
For the first time in the Russian construction practice a house was printed as a whole, rather than assembled from pre-printed panels. Design of the single-story residential house is rather unusual. This project was selected specifically, as one of the main purposes of this construction is to demonstrate the flexibility of equipment and diversity of available forms. The house can be of any shape, including the familiar square shape, because the additive technology has no restrictions on design of new buildings, except for the laws of physics.
The house was erected in the coldest time of the year. Winter has added complexity to the project participants, as the use of concrete mixture, that is used as the printing "ink", is only possible at temperatures above 5° C. Although, the equipment itself is able to operate in temperatures down to minus 35° C. The problem was solved by setting up a tent which provided the required temperature. Soon, using new materials, such as geopolymer, you will be able to print a house at any time of the year.
The developer of the unique equipment, Apis Cor, approached the matter of erecting the house throughly and invited five companies as partners, known for their innovative approaches: PIK Companies Group, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, TechnoNICOL Corporation, Bitex Reibeputz Company and Fabrika Okon Company.
Technology and materials used
Construction is based on Apis Cor 3D printing technology — a unique equipment, which has no analogues in the world today: mobile construction 3D printer and automatic mix and supply unit. A distinctive feature of the printer is its design, which is reminiscent of the tower crane, allowing the printer to execute the printing process of constructing the building both inside and outside. The printer has a small size, easily transportable and does not require long preparation before the commencement of the construction works because it has a built-in automatic horizon alignment and stabilization system. The printing process is automated as much as possible and almost eliminates the risk of human error.
Insulation system in the printed house was done using innovative materials of TechnoNICOL company. The roof of the house in Stupino, in accordance with the architectural project, is flat. The solution proposed by the TechnoNICOL company can effectively withstand high snow loads and durability requirements. Its cost is comparable with steep roofs, which are common in this country. The roofing carpet is made of LOGICROOF polymer membranes. The material has high performance and technological installation. Membrane patches are welded together with special equipment using hot air. Installation works at speeds of up to 1000 m² in a work shift can be done in any weather conditions.
Apis Cor construction 3D printing technology adapted for different methods of printed walls thermal insulation. Specially for the project in Stupino, TechnoNICOL corporation chose two innovative ways of insulation: solid insulating material LOGICPIR for one part of the house and liquid polyurethane composition for the other.
To illustrate how 3D printing solves the issue of embedding home appliances and electronics of various formats, a premium SUHD TV, JS9500 with diagonal of 78 Inches was installed in the house. An interesting fact is that the radius of curvature of the TV matches the house wall curvature.
The construction cost of the printed house amounted to $10134, which is approximately $275 per square meter, taking in account that partners have provided the highest quality materials, and building itself has an extraordinary shape. This cost includes all the works that were done to make a complete house: work and materials for the construction of foundation, roof, exterior and interior finishing works, installation of heat insulation of walls, windows, floors and ceilings. A square house made using materials of an average price category would be even cheaper ≈ $223 per square meter.
As the printer prints self-bearing walls and partitions, it allows to save up to 70% on erecting building boxes compared to traditional construction techniques, such as with the block method, because each block has to be put in place, cut to size and aligned. Also there is the necessity to bring the required equipment and tools to the construction site, replace them after breakage, unload materials, oversee the builders. Often there is a risk of human error, and completion of a standard cottage house on average can take up to two months.
Source and top image: Apis Cor