ChangeMaker 3D Ltd, an SME based in Malvern, Worcestershire has reported a series of early successes in pioneering 3D concrete printing. The cutting-edge technology, badged ‘Printfrastructure’, is set to deliver environmental, community and cost benefits for Britain’s rail and water sectors. Meanwhile, the company’s Director, Natalie Wadley has been recognised as a Finalist in Design and Build’s ‘Women in Construction’ awards.
‘Printfrastructure’ technology has potential to be used in all kinds of construction in place of traditional concrete or brickwork – for example it could be used to 3d print everything from benches and bridges to road barriers and houses. It could also bring new skills to the region.
ChangeMaker 3D use a computer-operated CyBe robot that pipes layers of quick drying mortar to a precise design. This can be done either offsite in a factory environment, or onsite where it’s needed – bringing greater flexibility to build in tricky spaces. ChangeMaker 3D is demonstrating that the technology can cut time, waste and carbon versus more traditional construction techniques and uses CyBe Mortar, a low carbon material.
Natalie Wadley, Director, ChangeMaker 3D, said: “Changemaker 3D stands for sustainability in the built environment. Transforming the UK’s infrastructure is critical if the UK is to reach ‘Net Zero’. We believe 3D printed concrete has the potential to help deliver the green growth our country needs. We are proud to be working with the Dutch technology provider CyBe Construction, together with brilliant sector-leading clients, to unlock this sustainable technology across rail, water and highways.”
Britain’s high speed rail network, HS2, recently announced its intention to harness ‘Printfrastructure’ to help cut carbon on key elements of the project by up to 50%. It marks a UK-first for using reinforced 3D concrete printing in an on-site capacity. The technology will be deployed by HS2 Ltd’s London tunnels contractor, SCS JV (Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture).
In the water sector, ChangeMaker 3D has been working with one of the country’s largest water companies, United Utilities, to research and model the application of 3D concrete printing for delivering sector-specific products. ChangeMaker 3D were selected for United Utilities’ highly regarded Innovation Lab event, culminating in June 2021. Over a ten-week period, they were able to benefit from unrivalled access to sector expertise, resources and insights from construction delivery partners.
The result is 3D printed wastewater distribution chamber which could be built onsite. It is projected to cut carbon by 20%, cost by 20% and time by an even greater percentage. United Utilities owns over 200 water distribution chambers from Cheshire to Cumbria and say the methodology incubated in their lab could help the sector in its race to Net Zero.