International building company Skanska is collaborating with Foster + Partners to 3D print high-performance concrete, which could be used to build architectural structures.

The firms will be working alongside engineers at Loughborough University (LU) in an 18-month development program focused on producing the world’s first commercial 3D concrete printing robot.

The computer-controlled machine would be capable of printing complex structural components, using a robotic arm to carefully lay down successive layers of concrete.  

According to Skanska’s director Rob Francis, the device has the potential to significantly reduce the time needed to create complicated concrete building elements, making it an even more cost-effective material within the construction industry.

LU researchers have been working on the project since 2007 and currently have a second prototype. 

The initiative is also backed by robotics firm ABB and aggregates suppliers Buchan Concrete and Lafarge Tarmac.

Courtesy Arch Daily