Last week, BAM group (a large Dutch construction company) and Universe Architecture (a Dutch architectural firm) launched a revolutionary new 3D construction printer called the 3D Builder. This happened at FabCity Amsterdam.
The 3D Builder
The 3D builder is the first of its kind with free form printing technique linked to robotics coming from the automotive industry. This groundbreaking innovation makes possible free form architecture but also realizing intricate facades with ornaments. This new robot with a changeable print head can print stone and concrete much like the Italian D-Shape method. New printing techniques for e.g. steal and isolation can be added in the near future. In cooperation with robotics partner AcoTech from Eindhoven, caterpillars can be added to the 3D Builder so it can drive autonomously on site.
The printing method of the 3D Builder
The method used by the 3D Builder is comparable with binder jetting or inkjet technology used by some of the industrial grade 3D printers. The Builder uses a binding substance that is being dripped on sand layer by layer hardening the sand to stone forming any shape. The materials now used for this project are common in nature and have been used by Romans and Chinese centuries ago to create structures such as the Chinese wall.
At FabCity, the 3D Builder is going to start with the build of the Landscape House (scale 1:4). In 2013, Janjaap Ruijssenaars (Universe Architecture) announced to make this 3D printed house without beginning or end. Last year, the first step was made commissioned by BAM; a 3D printed city bench was made for the city of Amsterdam.
Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars from Universe Architecture: “It is fantastic to jointly come up with a machine that makes something new possible. During the Renaissance this was much more common for architects to do.”
Rutger Sypkens from BAM Bouw & Techniek: “In addition to the freedom of design, we have been fascinated by the circular process. Concrete aggregate but also already made prints can later on be reused as raw material for the machine.”
The launch at FabCity
FabCity Amsterdam is a great temporarily initiative where more than 400 young students, professionals, artists and creatives are developing a site in the centre of Amsterdam into a sustainable urban area, where they work, create, explore and present their solutions for current urban issues. You can have a look at fifty pavilions, workshops, installations and prototypes where sustainability and circular economy are a central topic. Entry to FabCity is free of charge until June 26, 2016.
Egbert Fransen, Cultural intendant of the official EU2016 Arts & Design program Europe by People: “That the realization of this unique collaboration takes place at FabCity is proof to me that if you put together several innovative parties, large and small, pioneering initiatives emerge relevant to the development of the city of the future.”