Construction work has begun on the largest 3D-printed apartment building in Europe. Located in Wallenheim, Germany, the building will include five apartments across three floors with approximately 380 square metres (4,000 sq. ft.) of living space built using a commercially available 3D construction printer called BOD2. The construction team lead by PERI GmbH expects the printing process to take six weeks.
Two operators are required to run the printer. The print head and the print results are monitored by a camera. With a speed of 1 m/s, the BOD2 is currently the fastest 3D construction printer available on the market. The BOD2 only takes around five minutes to complete 1m² of a double-skin wall.
During the printing process, the printer takes into account the pipes and connections for water, electricity, etc. that are to be laid at a later time. The BOD2 has been certified in such a way that it is possible to carry out work within the printing area while printing is in progress. This means that manual work, such as the installation of empty pipes and connections, can be easily integrated into the printing process.
The “i.tech 3D” material that is being used to print the building in Wallenhausen was developed by HeidelbergCement specifically for 3D printing. “The properties of i.tech3D are tailored to the specific requirements of 3D construction printing using concrete,” says Dr. Jennifer Scheydt, Head of Engineering & Innovation at HeidelbergCement. “Our material has excellent pumping and extruding characteristics and works perfectly with the BOD2 printer.”
This is not a research or demonstration project. Once construction is complete, the apartments will be rented out in the usual manner. Only one of the apartments will be used as a show apartment. The client on this apartment building project is Michael Rupp Bauunternehmung GmbH, which will specialize in the 3D sector from 2021 onwards through its newly founded subsidiary Rupp Gebäudedruck.
“Our family-owned company has enjoyed 25 years of success in the industry and has an array of satisfied customers in the region. This means that we have the edge in terms of knowledge and can draw on a wealth of experience as we enter the 3D construction printing market,” says Fabian Rupp, Managing Director of Rupp Gebäudedruck.