3D Printer HardwareConstruction 3D Printing

Putzmeister and ZÜBLIN 3D print supporting walls for STRABAG warehouse

Further development of 3D concrete printing provides outlook for scalability of the technology

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

Layer by layer, the new STRABAG BMTI (STRABAG Baumaschinentechnik International) warehouse in Stuttgart’s Weilimdorf district is growing upwards. Together with Putzmeister and its KARLOS mobile concrete printer, ZÜBLIN has developed an innovative construction method that is unique in the world. As part of their long-standing collaboration, the two companies are pooling their innovative strength to take 3D concrete printing to a new level. Their research aims to offer customers an even more flexible and sustainable printing process in the future.

3D concrete printing to the next level

The new technology is based on a truck-mounted concrete pump. An automatically controlled boom with a reach of 26 meters applies concrete in several layers using a special pressure head based on a predefined digital construction plan. In this way, storey-high, supporting concrete walls are produced that are room-sealing, i.e. prevent the spread of flames and smoke in the event of a fire.

The main challenge of 3D concrete printing to date has been the lack of scalability of the technology for large-scale projects. Until now, printing has primarily been carried out using so-called gantry printers, which are limited to the production of smaller buildings. Compared to other concrete printing processes, KARLOS has greater flexibility and range as a mobile construction machine and therefore also offers the potential for scalability for large-scale projects.

Putzmeister and ZÜBLIN 3D print supporting walls for STRABAG warehouse providing outlook for scalability of the technology

CO2-reduced concretes

The economic and ecological advantages of the method include the complete elimination of formwork, the production of solid wall cross-sections in a single operation and the use of CO2-reduced concrete. By using only green electricity for the all-electric machine and CO2-reduced concretes, ZÜBLIN and Putzmeister are making an important contribution to making building construction more sustainable in the long term.

“On our way to realizing resource-saving and climate-neutral planning and construction, ZÜBLIN developed a highly innovative 3D printing process together with Putzmeister. As a construction group, we are contributing our expertise in the digital planning of building structures and concrete technology in particular to this pioneering innovation,” explained ZÜBLIN board member Stephan Keinath.

Putzmeister CEO Christoph Kaml sees KARLOS as a central element of the company’s strategy: “A high degree of electrification and automation is required along the entire work process. The reduction of manual labor is a decisive factor in dealing with the increasing shortage of skilled workers. As a digital technology of the future, KARLOS is a central building block on the road to the construction of tomorrow,” Kaml stated.

Putzmeister and ZÜBLIN 3D print supporting walls for STRABAG warehouse providing outlook for scalability of the technology

3D printing as a driver of productivity

Additive manufacturing methods, in particular 3D printing, have become an integral part of industries such as mechanical engineering, automotive and aerospace. Now they are also increasingly conquering construction sites. The combination of production steps from the digital planning of the BIM model (Building Information Modelling) through to the realization using 3D printers is revolutionizing construction processes. Work processes are significantly streamlined and accelerated through automation.

As ground-breaking as the technology of 3D printing is, the human factor remains crucial for the successful realisation of construction projects. We are therefore also countering the massive shortage of skilled labour with the use of modern technologies. This not only increases productivity but above all also enthusiasm for an exciting and promising construction profession with a bright future.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.