Just a couple of years ago the market for 3D construction printers was virtually non-existing, but the appearance of more and more 3D printed buildings in Europe and globally has been paving the way for the maturing of the market. Kamp C, the Belgian organization under Antwerpen province providing educational and technical support, and tools of innovation to the Flemish construction sector recently concluded a comprehensive EU tender process, which led to that 3D Printhuset, Denmark was chosen as the preferred supplier among all the contenders. 3D Printhuset offered their recently developed modular BOD2 3D construction printer – an upgraded, improved and 10 times faster version of the BOD1 printer, which printed Europe’s first 3D printed building, The BOD, in Copenhagen.
In Europe, publicly funded institutions like Kamp C have to follow a rigorous and comprehensive tendering process when purchasing items over a certain threshold. Making such tenders is not a minor task as it requires that the order placing authority very carefully and precisely evaluate all aspects of the many offers that they receive. It is a fully transparent and public tendering process where tenders are announced European wide and therefore multiple contenders from many different countries are normally participating. In their tender Kamp C put special emphasis on the technical details of the 3D construction printers offered and their price.
Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of 3D Printhuset said: “We are extremely proud and pleased that Kamp C chose us in competition with the many other contenders that always appear in such EU tenders. The experience we gained from our 3 year research project and from doing The BOD has really paid off. On the basis of this, we developed the BOD2 3D Construction printer, as an upgraded and improved version of the BOD1 printer that we used to make The BOD building with. The BOD2 is the only second generation printer on the market and is really unique in the sense that it has been cured for all the child-diseases of a first generation printer. Kamp C appreciated this fact and evaluated that we by far not only had the best price but also had the best technical offer.
The new BOD2 3D construction printer from 3D Printhuset consists of modules each of 2,5 meter, which allows the customer to choose among many different sizes of printers. Kamp C chose for a BOD2 version 444, which can print entire buildings up to 9,5 meters in the length and width and 8,3 meters in the height. The BOD2 is more precise, robust and faster compared to the BOD1 printer and prints concrete walls with a much smoother finish than the BOD1.
Michael Holm, Development Manager of 3D Printhuset said: “Following our own BOD project we received many requests for the delivery of multiple sizes of printers. We therefore knew that the new BOD2 printer had to be modular such that it would be very easy for our customers to quickly find the printer with the size that they wanted. We also knew how to improve this second version, as we learned great many things from doing The BOD with our first printer”.
One of the features that 3D Printhuset made significant improvements to is the speed of the printer. The BOD2 delivers the fastest speed of any 3D construction printer in the world, as the printer is capable of moving the printhead with a maximum speed of 1 meter per second. At this unprecedented speed, the 50 square meter BOD building in Copenhagen could have been printed in just a few hours.
Jakob Jørgensen, Technical manager of 3D Printhuset added: “With such a speed the printer will be extruding almost 10 tons of concrete per hour. This is an incredible amount. However, it remains to be seen how much of this fantastic speed our customers are actually capable of utilizing in practice having in mind that the recipes and materials handling equipment must be capable of matching such speed. So far we have seen prints with a speed up to 30 cm per second, but as our customers become more experienced, we believe they will be able to utilize even more of the speed that our printer offers them.”
3D Printhuset’s new, modular BOD2 3D construction printer is the latest in a series of steps, that 3D Printhuset has taken to make it easier to be a customer for the 3D construction printing technology. To improve the general know-how of customers and future users of the technology, 3D Printhuset has developed and launched open 3D construction printing courses over a full day where the participants receive theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience with 3D construction printing. To further help customers evaluate the cost involved with using 3D construction printing for a project, 3D Printhuset has developed and published a wall price calculator, which can be found at the website of 3D Printhuset: https://3dprinthuset.dk/3d-construction-wall-printing-calculator/. With this calculator and based on 14 input factors customers can establish the precise cost price of any project involving constructing walls with 3D printers.
Asger Dath, Communication Manager of 3D Printhuset explained: From the hundreds of requests and visits we received from potential customers, we learned that especially two issues were holding the customers back: Lack of knowledge related to 3D construction printing and the uncertainty of the cost involved with 3D construction printing. We therefore developed the cost price tool, which we gave public access to, and the open courses. The reception to both has been very positive and we are organizing the next open course after the summer in the middle of September, where we expect another fully booked event”.