Video | World’s biggest 3D printer sent to Saudi housing developer

7 August 2019 | By CM staff

A housing developer in Saudia Arabia is to use the world’s largest building 3D printer, developed by Danish firm Cobod, to build 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years.

Cobod’s Bod2 unit has been purchased by Saudi Elite for Construction & Development following testing last year, which included the printing of an entire house in Riyadh.

The Bod2 machine can print a three-storey building with a 300 sq m footprint with a top speed of 100cm per second. Generally, the unit operates at a normal speed of 30cm a second in the tests so far carried out.

The Gulf has emerged as one of the most promising markets for construction printing in recent years. Dubai has already decreed that a quarter of all buildings be printed by 2030, and Saudi Arabia is looking to use the technology to cut costs and reduce the need for imported labour.

Henrik Lund-Nielsen, the chief executive of Cobod, said: “Not only is the Bod2 the fastest 3D construction printer in the world, but the modular approach allowed us to deliver the size that Elite For Construction & Development wanted.”

Saad Al Shathri, the general manager of Elite for Construction, said: “We will be able to carry out projects with our own crews based on 3D-printable concrete made locally. This will bring costs significantly down compared to temporary imported printers using foreign-made materials.

“With the 3D construction printing technology we will be able to do projects almost impossible with conventional technology, and we will build faster and cheaper than before.”

The Bod2 printer, which retails for between €180,000 (£166,000) and €595,000 (£548,000), works by extruding layers of concrete to make walls.

Image: The Bod2 printer during testing in Denmark (Cobod)

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