Lower Emission 3D Printing Technology Addresses Sector's Biggest Challenges
Efficiency, resiliency and sustainability have historically plagued the construction industry, with designers and builders struggling to balance these three objectives simultaneously. Unfortunately, the need for speed and cost-cutting measures sometimes overshadows sustainable building practices, leading to the use of cheaper materials and shortcuts that compromise the quality and durability of the building.
In response, Fortex has made it their mission to boost efficiency and productivity while prioritising sustainability, leading them to explore innovative technologies. As part of this commitment, Fortex secured distribution rights to COBOD International’s 3D Construction Printing technology, a move that has caught the attention of Green Review Magazine. This cutting-edge technology aligns perfectly with Fortex’s goal of balancing speed, design freedom, resilience and sustainability.
The 3D construction printing (3DCP) technology employs a proprietary slicer that seamlessly converts Computer-Aided Design (CAD) files to 3D printable files in minutes, significantly reducing the need for robotic programming and hence the production time. Fortex Chief Executive Officer David Lederer explained, “To best illustrate the time savings, we can utilise a .dwg file of a design and slice it with the printer software to determine a relatively close estimation of the print time…As an example, utilising a design of a 210-square-metre, single storey three-bedroom and two-bathroom, Fortex calculates a print time of 70 hours for the entire wall system.”
This technology also allows for the creation of complex designs that were either cost prohibitive or near impossible to achieve with traditional construction methods. This precision means structures can be built with higher accuracy and resilience, which is essential for buildings in areas prone to natural disasters.
Finally, 3D construction printing (3DCP) technology uses 99% locally available raw materials, which is not only a time-saver but also a sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods. It reduces the transportation emissions associated with sourcing materials from outside the area or even internationally. Plus, the precise printing process minimises waste by only printing the necessary material for each build. Additionally, the COBOD 3DCP technology, being open-sourced, allows for the use of various mixes of reduced cement concrete, which further reduces CO2 emissions compared to concrete using only Ordinary Portland Cement.
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