Eindhoven gets Europe’s first 3D concrete printing facility

Europe’s first commercial 3D concrete printing facility opened in Eindhoven on Tuesday. At the production site, concrete building elements can be printed for bridges, houses and other structures.

The 3D concrete printing facility is an initiative of Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix and BAM Infra, their partners Bekaert, Witteveen+Bos and Van Wijnen, and Eindhoven University of Technology. The parties involved say that they have a view of a well-filled order book. There are several bicycle bridges in the print row, including four for the province of North Holland.

Later this year, the first complete house for the so-called Project Milestone will roll out of the printer, a world first. It concerns a total of five homes in 3D-printed concrete, which will be located in the Eindhoven new residential area Meerhoven. The ground floor first house will still be printed off-site, the later buildings with floors will be manufactured entirely on-site. In October 2017, the first 3D-printed concrete bicycle bridge was put into use in Gemert in Brabant. That was also a world first at the time.

According to Weber Beamix and BAM Infra, the new technology offers many advantages. This makes the construction process faster and the architect has more choice in the form of the building elements. In addition, less concrete is needed for the same result. The printing robot only applies concrete where it is structurally necessary. Less concrete means lower CO2 emissions. Also, with 3D-concrete printing, formwork is no longer needed, which means less waste remains.

An impression of the 3 d-printed homes of Project Milestone in Eindhoven