Site built 3D printed buildings are a growing market in vast parts of the globe. Several 3D printers for buildings are currently on the market or under development. What has been a concern, the material or “ink” used for the printing, is also under development and new materials are being used in commercial applications.
For example, MAPEI Corp., a familiar name in concrete, mortar and other construction materials, and Black Buffalo 3D Corp., a provider of large-scale 3D construction printers, have announced a strategic, research, development, and manufacturing partnership for 3D construction-printing. The first collaboration from this partnership, Planitop 3D, is designed to work with Black Buffalo 3D’s NEXCON printers to provide enhanced performance at a fraction of the cost of existing building materials.
Held to the strictest quality standards, each layer of Planitop 3D is designed to quickly set up and support every layer that is printed above it – saving time, reducing materials, and increasing jobsite efficiency. The official launch of Planitop 3D occurred at the site of a housing project in Virginia, in which 3D contracting group Alquist 3D will use NEXCON printers and the new mortar to 3D-print 200 new homes.
The Black Buffalo 3D team recognized the need for standardization in materials to drive the next phase of growth in the 3D construction industry. In turning to MAPEI, they were able to enhance the formula that the team developed and take it to the next level, outclassing every product on the market – at a cost that makes 3D-printing homes, buildings, and infrastructure feasible on nearly every level, according to Black Buffalo 3D.
Planitop 3D is a cement-based construction ink/mortar developed through years of research, testing, and evaluation by independent and in-house material scientists at MAPEI, Black Buffalo 3D, and various third-party labs, including Intertek. It is now available across North America through MAPEI suppliers.
Planitop 3D is currently in the verification process for meeting the ICC-ES AC509 standard for 3D-printed walls. Black Buffalo 3D is the first company in the world to submit material for proving its ability to meet this globally recognized criteria. Milestones that have already been achieved include several 13-hour+ printing sessions on NEXCON printers in Elizabeth, N.J., and a multitude of successful tests for strength, usability, resilience, and longevity.
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