A Russian firm has inaugurated the world’s largest 3D construction printer. The printer will be capable of printing an entire six-story building. AMT-SPETSAVIA group built the S-500 in Russia. The machine can operate in a volume of 11.5 x 11.0 x 15.0 m. Its developers say that it is possible to extend the last dimension to 80 m.
The firm also announced the S-300 which is capable of operating in an 11.5 x 11.0 x 5.4 m volume. This equals to a two-story building on a 120 sqm plot. Since you get a 10 sqm plot from the first two dimensions, the difference between the two models is height. The height of the building can be extended to 80m with the S-500 3D printer. If you allow 3m on each story, the extended S-500 can print a 26 story building.
That being said, even if it is capable of operating on this scale, it doesn’t mean it is capable of building a sound structure as well. The company said that the machine could print at a rate of 2.5 cubic meters of concrete per hour. Alexander Maslov, General Director, said in a press release, “We’ve always been asked for a solution for multi-story construction. Now we declare with confidence that such a solution exists! During the development, we’ve taken into account the wishes of the developing companies, at the same time maintaining the inherent reliability of our equipment, ease of management and maintenance”.
Alexander Lobanov talked about the technology and said, “S-500 may have the printing area up to 31 by 11 meters (102 x 36 ft) perimeter and up to 80 meters (262 ft) in height. The printer prints the non-removable framework, so we still need the steel beams, and we still need concrete pouring with ready-mixed concrete in the printed cavities. Nevertheless, this is still a very powerful decision, especially for non-rectangular cases. And we have some technical decisions dealing with the steel structures, though they are not installed by the printer itself”.
The first printer is expected to be shipped later this year. It is interesting to know that the 3D printing technology has moved beyond the small architectural structures like tiny houses, single story complexes and will be used in producing significant structures.