At this point, construction-scale 3D printers that can print houses aren’t exactly new. Most of those house printers are essentially just very large cartesian 3D printers that extrude some type of concrete rather than plastic. It’s their size that really makes them special. But the construction bot from Prinstones has a few more tricks up its robotic sleeve than just concrete printing, which it can absolutely do.
The Baubot mobile robotic system is a modular, customizable construction assistant that can complete an astonishingly wide array of tasks. Not only can it 3D print in concrete, but it can work in tandem with another Baubot to reinforce concrete with steel bars, placing them in the wet concrete between printed layers. And that’s just to start. Since it’s on all-terrain track wheels, it can go nearly everywhere, including through standard doorways as well as up and down stairs, and it can be fit with a number of different tools since it’s, well, a robotic arm.
A Handy Helper
The standard gripper can hold objects in place while a worker bolts it down or welds it, or just attach the welding tool and let the Baubot do the welding. After it’s welded, Baubot can be fitted with the rotary kit to handle the milling and drilling processes. All of the toolkits have intuitive features and predefined applications, such as drilling holes with specific spacing. If there’s some heavy metal to get through, the plasma cutter attachment will make short work of it. It’s best to be certain about your cuts when using a plasma cutter, so the laser marking tool on the Baubot will ensure that every line is straight and in the right spot.
The robot has a payload of 500kg (10kg for the arm), a useful amount on construction sites where mortar, tools, wood, and bricks have to be constantly moved around short distances. Thankfully, Baubot can also help lay the bricks after delivering them. Try getting your wheelbarrow to do that. And after the drywall is up and it’s helped drill it in, Baubot will sand and paint the walls for you too. When the crew goes home for the day, the robot can continue working as a security patrol with its integrated cameras and lights.
Printing On The Go
With eight hours of runtime per charge and swappable battery packs, construction sites will be a lot more productive with a couple Baubots helping out. And since they can be transported in a pickup truck or van, they can get to every site. They’re operated with a standard smartphone, making them incredibly easy to operate. The mobility of this robotic 3D printer enables it to print structures of essentially unlimited length and width, though it is a bit restricted in height. It more than makes up for that with all of its other talents though, because houses aren’t made of just concrete.