Zacua Ventures Construction Robotics Market Map

The construction industry is a very large industry, yet it has remained laggard in terms of innovation and automation. Zacua Ventures is a global early-stage venture fund tackling world’s biggest challenges across Sustainability, Productivity and Urbanization and backed by the most innovative corporates in the built world. Zacua is led by partners with more than 30 years of combined industry experience, and who have been investing in construction tech for the past decade. They partner with top-tier corporates in this space across the globe and enable or portfolio companies to connect with them seamlessly. With regional presence in San Francisco, Madrid, and Singapore, Zacua helps entrepreneurs to build and strengthen their value proposition and scale their businesses globally, leveraging deep corporate networks.  Zacua ventures has been able to identify four major trends that is leading to the adoption of robotics in the construction industry and through their network of industry leaders, they drive value and accelerate growth for their partners and entrepreneurs by providing access to new technology, strategic insights into emerging trends, and unequaled scalability. The four major trends are leading to the adoption of Robotics in construction are:

  • Labor Shortage: This is majorly as a result of lack of interest, in terms of construction by the younger generation. The older generation is getting closer to retirement, with no one to fill up their empty roles, which also leads to lack of skilled workers
  • Unsustainability: More precisely the production of cement, is one of the causes of global co2 emission. Although the public has become more aware of the consequences and regulations have been put in place, it still calls for the need of a better solution.
  • New capabilities in robotics
  • New business model

Zacua ventures has published a report on companies, they deem notable in the construction technology space. The report mentions companies that deal on onsite production and pre-fab in the various aspects of building construction.



The automation phase in the construction industry is not only limited to 3D printing, bricklaying with clay and concrete masonry products to construct brickwork and blockwork. Bricklayers’ scope of work ranges from residential to commercial, from straight walls to ornamental walls, and from structural to non-load bearing walls. Time consumption and lack of labour has 3 companies: Fastbrick robotics, general systems and construction robotics to develop machines that can accelerate this process.

  • Construction Robotics: Construction Robotics provides advanced, labor saving solutions proven to reduce on site injuries and increase productivity so builders can improve safety, enhance the effectiveness of every team member and finish projects on time and on budget. They have been able to develop a robot that builds walls and various parts of a building using bricks and blocks. The robot can lay over 3000 bricks a day without making mistakes and of course getting tired. The robot is able to perform these operations with the use of sensors. The robot has a sensor that detects a laser, which is mounted to the wall in a pole system. The robot also measures the mortar and applies it to the brick before placing it. Human input is still required in finishing touches and feeding the system with bricks and mortar as it works along the scaffold.
  • Fast Brick: The Hadrian X, an automated end-to-end bricklaying robot, was invented by FBR Ltd. It works as a 3D printer, building brick constructions in place, course by course, with adhesive to hold the bricks together. Because to Dynamic Stabilisation Technology (DST), which instantly measures and adjusts for dynamic interference generated by uncontrolled external circumstances, the Hadrian X can work in outdoor locations. Hadrian X performs the automatic loading, cutting, routing, and placing of all bricks in accordance with a computer-aided design, allowing for the completion of a house’s end-to-end bricklaying in as little as three days. Following a successful proof-of-concept with the Hadrian 105 technology demonstration in 2015, the first commercial version was scheduled to be delivered in 2017.
  • General systems : This also a bricklaying robotic company, who actually changes the type of masonry you can lay, it doesn’t lay bricks, it lays messenger blocks which are much larger and more difficult to handle by doing this it actually augment capacity in terms of laying larger structures.


Flooring is the general term for a permanent covering of a floor, or for the work of installing such a floor covering. Zacua has two different type of startups

  • Easy flooring robotics: Easy flooring robotics believes that, like mosaic floors, a number of construction contractors that tile floors will disappear from mainstream and will become obsolete. The need for distinctive, seamless, and durable floors grows year after year, particularly in the commercial sector. Easy flooring Robotics is a startup that has created a revolutionary way to build flooring technology. These robots will create a plethora of designs by producing extremely efficient floor casting with innovative materials. It saves traditional execution time by around 50% and eliminates unnecessary workforce.

Dry wall, plastering and painting

These 3 categories are similar and have similar issues, these processed are very repetitve and involve use of unfriendly chemicals. These are very labor-intensive tasks, which causes reduced labor, because people aren’t willing to do the task. Repetitive processes can be easily automated, making these processes safer, faster and more efficient. Some startups like canvas have taking the responsibility of fixing this issues by developing a drywall finishing robot. 


  • Canvas: Canvas, a startup in construction robotics, has shown a drywall finishing robot. In addition, the firm established its Innovation Partner Program, a creative alliance with six industry-leading contractors that share the company’s mission of “building in bold new ways by placing better tools in the hands of competent employees.” The canvas drywall finishing robot, which can finish enormous areas of drywall semi-autonomously, is changing the way some drywall teams work. The drywall robot, according to Canvas CEO Kevin Albert, concentrates on large expanses, high-volume parts, and difficult-to-reach locations such as high ceilings and corners.The robot’s telescoping mast allows its arm to reach heights of up to 17 ft.The machine can handle the application of the finishing compound and the sanding of it, But human inpus are still required do the taping and handle the more complex geometries. The telescoping pole of the robot allows its arm to reach heights of up to 17 feet. The machine can apply the finishing compound and sand it, but human intervention is still required for taping and handling more difficult geometries.
  • PaintJet: Despite the labor shortage, the demand for painting services have continually increased. Painting is tedious, especially when it involves moving from one place to other and it becomes a dangerous activity because people have to climb on ladders to climb on ladders do the painting, come down move the ladders and keep repeating the same process. When developing a robot in this space, one would have to consider Mobility platforms, injection mechanisms, post control when it comes finishing and consistency of finish. PaintJet is a robotics and material sciences company automating large-scale commercial and industrial painting, it is a mobile lift attachment, designed to quickly apply paint or industrial coatings. This allows for more projects to be completed with lower labor costs. The PaintJet unit is designed to fit a variety of industry standard man lift baskets, so no special equipment is needed to operate the system. Designed with the construction operating environment in mind, PaintJet operates by connecting to industry standard equipment already on site, can be set up and taken down in 30 minutes and is mobile enough to be transported in a pickup or small trailer.
  • Okibo: Okibo, is automating interior construction. They focusing more on painting so they have a full stack built robot which is able applied to apply paint and it can do it both on roofs as well as on walls.
  • Hausbots: Hausbots is a very standard of painting robot, This robot is mostly used for in-house paintings rather than external paintings


Layout is another interesting category that is now automated. Layout takes about 30% of the time of any task being carried out. It mostly involved measurements, which means measuring tools like tape measure etc. It’s mostly a 2 people job that is done manually, therefore it is time consuming. Layout robots ingests the plans and automatically lays it on site, whether it be day or night, therefore reducing time it takes to do it , when done manually.

  • Dusty Robotics: Dusty uses a laser pointer in terms of doing the marking, based on the laser pointer it can go in different directions, it can gets the job done on most flat surfaces, it doesn’t do walls it doesn’t do the roofs. The dusty robots Eliminate rework and spot issues sooner. The FieldPrinter prints full scale with 1/16” (1 mm) accuracy, ensuring all installed material is within tolerance. Any improperly installed penetrations also become apparent sooner in the schedule, allowing more time for corrections.
  • Civ Robotics: Civbots doesn’t layouts  indoors, it works on large solar projects or large infrastructure projects, staking is a very manual activity and this just drops markers where the stakes need to go in and does it at a in a very precise manner so this is more like outdoor. Civ Robotics helps to significantly increase productivity on heavy civil projects by completing tasks faster, with greater accuracy, and enable teams to operate at peak performance levels.

Drilling and fastening

Drilling and fastening are one of the most prevalent applications on job sites, whether you are anchoring, building etc. it requires these two applications. For very critical jobs like curtain walls were fastening become quite dangerous because of the anchor channels, the risks involved is higher. Some companies have come up with technological solutions to reduce these risks and reduce time spent doing them.

  • Hilti robot: Hilti Group released new features to the Hilti Jaibot, a semi-autonomous, mobile-drilling robot in 2022. The Jaibot is a semi-automated construction robot designed for mechanical, electrical, plumbing and interior finishing installation work. The Hilti Jaibot integrates with your BIM designs to handle the overhead marking and drilling for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing applications up to 16.5 feet high. It pairs with the PLT 300 rotary laser to keep track of its drilling arm within 1/8 of an inch. Technically, it’s a semi-autonomous system. While it doesn’t require an expert to use, it does require human input and oversight.
  • ABB: Elevator installations require anchor bolts in the elevator shaft to precisely and safely fasten guide rails and access doors.Working safely and correctly requires high accuracy and full concentration. ABB has come up with a solution for this by automating the process. The robot’s primary task is to drill holes and install anchor bolts in elevator shafts. The robot scans the shaft wall to determine if there is hidden rebar underneath or if the concrete surface is uneven. The installation system uses an algorithm to calculate tolerances and repositions the holes as necessary.

Wielding and Rebar

Wielding operations is a very expensive operation that requires very skilled operators,that’s why carrying it out using robots is very helpful in construction nevertheless it’s a little bit more complicated because welding involves fire and heating elements and so on  safety the requirements are a little bit higher. A lot of Rebar on the other hand is to build rebar cages, and the process involves bending and tying of rebar, which can be done onsite as well as offsite.

  • Toggle: Toggle uses industrial robotics to pre-assemble rebar offsite and deliver it in record time, build ready-made rebar cages in factories and they ship them to site.

Most of the robots developed for this process have slightly different kind of operation, but all have the same goal, which is to make the process more efficient, safer and faster.

It is very interesting, that there are various aspects of construction advancing into automation, and no one really knows how far till the whole process is fully automated. Having a fully automated process in construction means, having robots communicate with each other. It can be said that the industry is still undergoing its first phase, which is how to use the current technologies developed to its full potential of solving problems.

The automation of the construction industry is still in a quite early stage, but it’s getting closer and close with time to being fully automated.

Check out the full podcast episode this article was based on with Automate Construction founder Jarett Gross

Botbuilt: Framing Robots Automating Construction

The housing crisis is one of the most pressing issues confronting society today. Innovation is the only means of resolving the world wide housing crisis. Companies have come up with various methods and solutions to solve this crisis, amongst many BotBuilt has come up with a solution. BotBuilt was founded by Brent Wadas along with his two business partners Barrett Ames and Colin Devine

BotBuilt is a technology based company whose Headquarters is in Durham, North Carolina. It is one of the leading robotics company that uses robotic systems to solve, complex construction problems. BotBuilt aims to solve the problem of Housing shortage in America, by bringing manufacturing innovation of mass production to homes, by utilizing adaptable, efficient robotic systems, specialized hardware, and cutting-edge software and making it possible for homes to be custom made by Robotics arms. This framework enables robotic precision, which enhances productivity, scalability, sustainability, and safety. In BotBuilt’s Durham warehouse, their robot arms build each home framing.

When it comes to building a house, Framing gives your home a shape and structure, it also impacts the quality of nearly every aspect of your home, from mechanicals to interior and exterior finishes. It is also one of biggest time consuming process in construction, one of the highest cost bearing process as far as material cost goes. it sets up everything else in that house and nothing much can be to that house until the framing is done.

BotBuilt Robotics

Robots are great with precision, when building cars, boats and things that require the use of light material like sheet metal, but when dealing with heavy materials such as Lumber, certain features have to be incorporated into the robotics system. BotBuilt Robots deals with Lumber, and they have been able to put the necessary features such as computer vision, motion path planning, tooling systems and collision detectors to enable their robotics system work efficiently.

BotBuilt has developed a software pack that uses two dimensional housing plan or three dimensional housing plan as a baseline. The computer processes the plan and builds up a panel book that shows the number of panel and dimensions of lumber needed to build the house. Once the robot plans its own motion path. They start building based on the housing plan.

The Future of Affordable Homes

While BotBuilt is focused on delivering revolutionary technologies to the robotics and construction industries, they are also motivated by the aim to make the construction process more inexpensive and sustainable.

The BotBuilt robotics systems help to make housing more affordable by reducing cost. When buildings are made using the traditional method, materials quantities are estimated and bought at high cost. BotBuilt systems eliminates wild guess but giving the exact materials need for the constructions, the system is also able to look at the market data, and shows were the material is cheapest at that point in time. Following the accurate assembly of construction frame components by BotBuilt’s robots, framing would be sent on-site to residences for assembly by workers. For builders, this reduces financial costs associated with purchasing wood in smaller (and therefore more expensive) quantities from lumberyards, as well as resources lost due to human mistake during framing. By leaving framing to dependable machinery, builders save time and money in the long run by smoothing the route to home inspections and making it easier for other tradesmen such as plumbers to conduct their work on the home.

The BotBuilt is currently doing wall panels with the sheathing and primary working with developers. They plan on extending their services to include and insulation package and a precut system, were the robots cut out the plumbing and wiring systems. This will involve pre-planning, but the company is keen on solving construction problems that consume time and lots of money.

With Brent Wadas as Chief executive officer, Barrett Ames as Chief technology officer and Devine as COO. They were determined to make housing affordable. Their technology and mission has already getting noticed across the globe, including being accepted into the prestigious YCombinator accelerator for the Winter21 cohort and a cofounder selected for inclusion on the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2023.

Mud Frontier


Today, 1 in 3 humans live and work in buildings made from mud. The techniques to construct earthen buildings have been practiced across the planet for over 10,000 years.

SHIBHAM, YEMEN: “The Manhattan of the Desert”

The Mud skyscrapers within the walled city of Shibham were erected over 500 years ago. 

The mud city represents one of the earliest examples of urban planning for vertical construction.


Professor Ronal Rael is experimenting with a new combination of Mud and human ingenuity in San Luis Valley, Colorado. 

Rael 3D printed this Adobe vault without formwork or reinforcement. 

The angled slicing configuration enables the 6-axis robotic arm to build beyond the X-Y-Z axis of most gantry 3D printers.

The 3D printer by Twenty Additive Manufacturing starts at €345,000.

Rael recently printed in the heart of Denver, Colorado with the original model of his 3D printer. In the left silo of the photo above, you can see Rael’s original printer that starts at $29,500 from 3D potter.

Professor Rael, a Berkely student, and Rael’s son worked together to build the elegant towers seen above. Curious bystanders wandered up to watch with amazement as the machine deposited mud towers in front of the Denver History Museum.

A biker stopped to observe the alien machine in action. He asked Rael ‘isn’t there a guy that 3D prints mud buildings?’ Rael’s response was something along the lines of ‘yes, I am him’. Needless to say, the biker became very excited.

At some point in the 10,000 years of mud construction someone decided to add Earthen structures to the building code- just ask Rael, he lives in an inherited adobe home- and Rael’s former 3D printed Mud Silo project is permitted.

The design of the dome, or nubian vault, is in the shape of a catenary arch. 

Since a chain always hangs in complete tension, the catenary arch (the upside down chain) rests in complete compression; the arch allows materials with high compressive strength and low tensile strength, like concrete and mud, to form robust structures without reinforcement. 

The design freedom of 3D printing paired with the poor tensile strength of mud could increase the use of arches in the future of 3D printed design.

The 4th-century ruins of The Palace of Ctesiphon expresses the power of the catenary arch.

The last Persian capital in Iraq, the Palace of Ctesiphon, used mud brick to span over 25 meters (82ft.) without the use of formwork during its construction.

The Palace of Ctesiphon, aqueducts, and countless other ancient structures prove that ancient civilizations understood the omnipresent forces of compression and tension.

When these forces are understood we construct geometries that function in harmony with nature.

With that said- nature presents its challenges too.


In the photo above, the blue machine on the left is feeding dirt to the metallic 3D printer. The hole dug by the blue machine became a pond, and the dirt it moved became a 323-square-foot building; as seen completed in the photo below. 

0-kilometer supply chains are the vision of the Italian designers working at WASP; unload the printer on-site and erect your house using the dirt next to the machine. 

The rice husk, straw and mud mixture looks and feels like a coarse rope once it dries. 

The United Nations branch of Supply Chain Service recently visited the WASP headquarters to investigate this team’s disruptive potential.

From a material standpoint 3D printing mud has several challenges, but the potential upside is -to say the least- disruptive.

Typical 3D concrete printing mortar cost over $500 per ton and contain an assortment of sand, water, cement, additives, and fibers. The entire project can be ruined by an error in these sensitive mortar mixtures.

3D printable Geopolymers will cost you around $860- 2320 per ton.

According to WASP, the material cost of the building above is 900 Euro ($980)- dirt cheap. ***note from the editor, the mixing process still requires rotor stators during the print which are $1200 expendable parts good for 10-30 tons of material each***

However, to print with mud WASP had to conduct extensive material experiments on the contents of the soil on site. 

One of the hardest variables of 3D printing dirt is the components of the dirt: sand, clay, silt, etc, can drastically change from one meter to the next.

This change in components causes inconsistent material properties; and inconsistent material is the downfall of projects, literally.

Another challenge of printing with Adobe is erosion. 

To combat erosion WASP is once again looking to the past.

“Roman concrete,” CEO of WASP Massimo Moretti, explained in his deep Italian accent. 

Roman concrete is fundamentally different from the concrete that makes the bridges, buildings, and infrastructure that enables human life today. If we’re lucky, the concrete we use crumbles after 100 years; so what allows the aqueducts, the largest unreinforced concrete dome- the Pantheon- and other Roman architecture to survive 2,000 years of erosion?

First Vitruvius, and later Pliny the Elder (who died in the Pompeii volcano) recorded that the best concrete was made with ash from volcanic regions of the Gulf of Naples. 

For two millennia the recipe was lost. In 2023, the brightest and highest-funded institutions in the world teamed up to uncover the Roman secrets.

For two millennia the recipe was lost. In 2023, the brightest and highest-funded institutions in the world teamed up to uncover the Roman secrets.

The researchers discovered the Romans combined an overabundance of lime and volcanic ash to create a superheated reaction.

The ‘hot mix’ results in new reactions, faster curing rates, and self-healing concrete. 

When the concrete cures and eventually cracks, it exposes the lime to air and water; this mixture rekindles the initial reaction, bringing the lime back to life to expand and fill the crack.

In the past, the excessive amounts of lime were thought to be an accident by the Romans.

The abundance of lime in the mixture continuously causes the ancient concrete to heal itself just like a scab repairing a cut- and the volcanic ash and lime required to recreate this concrete is abundant. 

After getting into the intricacies of Roman concrete with Massimo he powerfully summed up our conversation in one word: “Alchemy!”

Massimo always speaks of his work in a philosophical light.

Just as a river melts away one layer of Earth’s sediment at a time, the building above was eroded until it had to be destroyed. There are no articles exposing the truth about this building’s unfortunate end, but I saw its gravesite first hand and according to the WASP team themselves, it lasted under a year.

The destruction of this unprecedented architectural marvel represents the bitter-sweet reality that WASP is potentially decades ahead of their time. 

“There’s a bunch of solutions for erosion, but nothing that’s natural and cheap in Africa and South America and Middle East and India or Asia areas. These are the areas to make a difference in… When I lived in Zimbabwe lots of the homes were built out of earth, structurally it can be done but erosion is still a problem.”, James Lymon, CEO of Mudbots, explained.

Shortly after James told me this I learned about the Asir Mountain Province of Saudi Arabia; a place with adobe buildings, but more importantly a natural and cheap solution to erosion. 

Slate rocks extrude from the walls and act as a watershed, preventing water from freely running down the surface and eroding it- giving the buildings an alluring facade, and expressing one of the most primitive and powerful forms of human ingenuity. 

The collaboration of ancient wisdom and sublime 21st-century technology leaves us standing at the precipice of a revolution – or as Rael calls it- The Mud Frontier.

*walk out music*

Fannie Mae Includes 3D Printed Homes in Latest Selling Guide

The biggest news is that they determined 3d printed homes fall in line with any other form of construction. Has 3D printed construction gone mainstream? Is this a responsible choice?

Check out the official Selling Guide Announcement

This will certainly enable many projects which were previously stuck on the back-burner but I am not convinced it is fair to blanket all 3D printed homes into the same category. There are so many different structural strategies and materials used to print houses. Some ‘printed homes’ use only spray foam like the old MIT projects. This article gives no guidance as to what materials are acceptable or what minimum parameters those materials should meet.

A huge hurdle has been lifted, now that Fannie Mae has opened the gates to 3D printed houses the next big step will be the home insurance companies. I can only imagine these things happen slowly at first then all at once, it’s surprising to see Fannie Mae mentioning 3D printed homes with less that 1000 of them built around the world but that number will certainly be surpassed in coming years as it becomes easier than ever to achieve these projects. We are entering a wild west era for construction automation and it is incredible to see! Just yesterday I was complaining about all the regulations in housing, how restrictive it seems and how the powers that be seem not to want solutions. Now they open it up and there is a whole new concern but progress feels great!

Now the responsibility lies on the innovative, forward thinking individuals we have followed along behind the camera for the past 4 years. 3D printed construction companies everywhere will be further enabled to build in regions previously on the fence and that adoption will increase the momentum even further. My hope is that through the integrity of engineers, the construction automation industry as a whole can demonstrate responsibility in the face of the newfound freedoms enabled by this Fannie Mae announcement.

Do you want to get a job in this burgeoning industry? Submit a pdf resume to and tell us why you love construction automation. Need to hire the most passionate people in 3DCP? Let us know about that too!

Groundbreaking Innovations in 3D Printed Construction: Lessons from IAAC and the Future of Sustainable Architecture

The DFAB House: Digitizing Construction

Swiss Plateau region, Dübendorf, Switzerland

“researchers from eight ETH Zurich professorships have come together with industry experts and planning professionals in a unique way to explore and test how digital fabrication can change the way we design and build.” 

DFAB House

Exterior & Interior views of the DFAB house

The construction industry ranks among the least digitized sectors globally. In the United States, construction is second to last on the MGI’s digitization index, while in Europe, construction holds the last position. 

The DFAB house pioneered the world’s first digitally planned and primarily robotically constructed residential building. Universities, researchers, and industry professionals spent four years developing the machinery and methods that crafted the DFAB house. This architectural laboratory displays the potential of Digital FABrication in the notoriously archaic construction sector.

“Consider that in the United States between 1947 and 2010, agriculture achieved cumulative real growth in its productivity of 1,510% and manufacturing 760%. Construction managed only 6%. U.S. construction-sector productivity is lower today than it was in 1968” -Marketwatch 2017

Globally, construction lacks 1.6 Trillion dollars of infrastructure investment every year, with 1/3 of this investment missing in North America. This number matters. Construction unites, shelters, and hydrates our people. It creates our workspaces, schools, energy, and production plants and has consequences far beyond itself. Project management and technological innovation are two crucial factors in fixing construction productivity.

5 novel construction methods used in DFAB house

McKinsey estimates that 5 – 10x productivity boosts are achievable for some parts of the industry by constructing buildings in a prefabricated manufacturing style. Researchers used automation in conjunction with prefabrication to build the top floors of the DFAB house – mirroring the offsite manufacturing process of cars. “Using the computational design model, the multi-robotic system fabricated and assembled the design. Each beam was gripped and positioned by the robot, then cut using a CNC-controlled saw. Following this, the robot then milled and pre-drilled all of the required holes for the connection detailing.” – DFAB

Spatial Timber Assemblies

 The structure was transported on a flatbed truck, craned into place, and wrapped in translucent spaceship insulation: aerogel. 

About 90% of firms using prefabrication report improved productivity, quality, and schedule certainty compared to traditional stick-built construction. The competitive advantage prefabrication has over traditional construction techniques is that laborious tasks such as installing electrical, insulation, and plumbing are completed in a centralized area. The factory system allows for increased automation, a more predictable, safe job site, and standardized techniques and equipment, potentially saving time and money. Imagine if you built your car on-site. Or your phone? What about your furniture? Damn it, Ikea. Jokes aside, prefab also has challenges, primarily involving transportation, assembly, and significant upfront investment. 
Digital planning involves transitioning from paper-based methods to online, real-time information sharing. The heavy reliance on paper for managing blueprints, design drawings, procurement, equipment logs, supply orders, progress reports, and punch lists worsens construction’s low productivity. Lack of digitization leads to delayed and fragmented information sharing, discrepancies between owners and contractors, and wasted data. Not to mention paper-based systems take more time.

Digitally managing and planning are potent strategies; equally as interesting is digitally constructing buildings. Computer aided design (CAD) allows architects and engineers to uncover the most efficient structure and rapidly iterate their designs. 

The 3D printed formwork of the DFAB ceiling is optimized using CAD models. The computer-generated a lightweight but structurally optimized structure. The ceiling displays the convergence of creativity and technology in this new building era. “The key benefit of 3D printing is that geometric complexity and customization do not increase production cost and time” – DFAB. 

However, this does not mean that production cost and time is low. This is a common misconception in the 3D concrete printing industry. If 3DCP companies are slicing costs in half, why don’t these firms share the receipts for their finished products? 

On-site In-Situ Fabricator

Since CAD modeling is already commonplace in construction, adopting robots like 3D printers and In-Situ Fabricators that operate from 3D models is a relatively small step away. The In-Situ Fabricator (IF) constructed the rebar reinforcement within the double curved wall in the DFAB house. The machine rolls like a tank and meticulously welds rebar on-site. IF interacts with its environment, responds to unforeseen changes, and optimizes the fabrication process without relying on human interaction. This machine possesses “cyber-physical” capabilities.

Entry into the Fourth Industrial Revolution

These Cyber-physical advancements are sprouting in the 3D concrete printing industry. Intelligent batch plants monitor their environments’ ever-changing conditions, humidity, and nozzle temperature and adjust the mix accordingly. Gantry systems are learning to detect wind shifts and correct the nozzle position while continuously printing. 
The explosive advancements of 3DCP have the same catalysts that enabled the creation of the DFAB house:

Display of industry progress by Vertico


Institutions such as the Technical University of Texas, the Technical University of Denmark, RMIT, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), and MIT are a few well-known investors. University of Arkansas was awarded a 3.5 million dollar grant to advance 3DCP.

Private competition:

Each of the 360+ 3DCP firms and 103+ printer manufacturers are ferociously innovating to assert themselves as the machine for the masses: big-name partnerships and government interest are speeding up progress. Get a full list of manufacturers as a member of the Automation Nation or in the course How to Print a House

40% of 3D-printed buildings worldwide were built in 2022— proving this field’s young and explosive growth.

100 home development in partnership with ICON and Lennar. 7 3DCP deployed, Georgetown TX
A critical enabler of 3DCP growth is reconfiguring regulations and building codes. Adopting a building code for 3D-printed structures is challenging because the thickness, height, speed, and material deposited can vary drastically. All 360 companies have unique methods and makeups. However, The International Code Council’s Evaluation Service (ICC- E.S.) approved Black Buffalo and ICON walls. Code compliance will save these companies the time and money of complying with unrelated but established codes. Furthermore, the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) are developing industry standards emphasizing structural and infrastructure elements. Standards are the bridge between conventional and digital construction (pun intended). 

If governments are serious about helping the environment, investing in advancing building codes and this technology is a great start. Construction is responsible for an estimated ⅓ of the world’s waste and 40% of carbon emissions… 

“To accommodate the largest wave of building growth in human history, from 2020 to 2060, we expect to add about 2.6 trillion ft2 (240 billion m2) of new floor area to the global building stock, the equivalent of adding an entire New York City to the world, every month, for 40 years.”-

In other words, we are building ourselves into a “carbon lock,” as the inefficient buildings we construct today will spill carbon for decades. 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from heating, cooling, and powering our homes. If American home emissions were considered a country, they would emit more carbon than Germany. Germany has the fourth largest GDP on Earth.

WASP designers in Italy are attacking this problem by optimizing buildings to ventilate and insulate naturally. Their 3D printer deposited the dirt on site, and due to the nature of 3DP, the optimized structure was a breeze to create.

WASP building utilizes traditional ventilation technique

Energy efficiency is essential, but the most carbon-intensive part of a home is the construction of the building. The average life expectancy of an American home is only 40 years. More sustainable practices and permanent structures can mitigate the consequences of the tear-down and rebuild culture of the US.

Our construction habits have ripples on our infrastructure, environment, and society which makes digitizing and automating construction historical. BIM networks, prefabrication, and robotic home builders are propelling us into a more developed world. Upon leaving the DFAB house, I felt grateful to be one of the few standing at the precipice of a revolution, watching it unfold, maneuver and grow into the world around us. 

Works Cited:

Is our intelligence just as artificial as A.I.? A reflection on ConTech as we begin to look toward A.I.

Cruising without a care in the world knowing that this drive, like every drive, will be interruption-free, with no traffic lights to stop, no unexpected congestion, simply you getting into your connected vehicle. Your car is not autonomous yet and the US infrastructure is still subpar to that which allows das autobahn to lift its speed limits, yet this future is easy for me to imagine because the tools are already here for the most part, it’s a matter of data collection (GPS data + destination) and allocation (access to modify traffic lights). Seeing the future vision is the necessary requisite for any project, this initial over-optimism creates the project champion, that will then be able to carry the concept through to fruition. That said, having worked for short of a decade leading innovation projects, one thing I’ve learned is it is always exponentially easier to promote change on the periphery than to act as an ancillary change agent to the day-to-day. This article though is about a journey and critique of construction tech, so I’ll start with this idea above of the seamlessly connected roadway then explain how it’s relevant to construction tech, and like every thought-provoking article will close with some open questions to the industry.The seamlessly connected roadway concept is simple, first, make it mandatory to enter your destination into the authorized application and then create the push and pull. The pull is the predictability of an optimized drive every time while the push is reworking traffic penalties for deviating from the prescribed route at the prescribed speed in the prescribed lane, etc. As I mentioned above, most of the tools are here, for example, Google Maps and a culture of traffic laws, the missing component is the political push and a master algorithm that could regulate traffic lights, bridges, trains, etc. to optimize the route in real-time. Obviously, this is an understatement to the complexity of the challenge to make something like this a reality, the point I’d like to highlight here is the importance of operating on the periphery when it comes to innovation. New unicorns are being minted as we speak for autonomous vehicles and/or electric car companies and the narrative almost goes unquestioned. Personally, I only questioned this as I’m looking for a new car and was shocked at the lack of fuel efficacy improvements of my current 2010 Toyota Prius which gets virtually the same fuel economy as the 2023 model, and it made me wonder what would the impact be if instead of switching to autonomous electrics, we simply improved how we are currently using today’s vehicles. 

This future means that cars would be consuming far less gas, think UPS only making right turns or roundabouts that have already substantiated the savings, all without having to switch to electric vehicles. This concept also brings with it serious privacy debates and a political risk of being totalitarian, unless of course it’s a huge success and the system doesn’t penalize a person for spilling coffee and veering off course or said less politely if it could allow a socially acceptable level of failure to account for human stupidity and automatically adjust accordingly to balance human sentiment with performance. Yet, this failure risk, project duration, and a myriad of other factors are why it’s easier to stay in the periphery and the path of less resistance is to not question the narrative, progress must be good, and eclectic cars, unlike my 2010 Prius are cool! Disclaimer, I am not against electric cars, I have not found the study that shows what the carbon footprint reduction would be if all cars drove at optimal rates and I am not disagreeing that electric autonomous vehicles are relevant technology for the future, simply saying there may be parallel advancements that could also have a dramatic reduction to our carbon footprint while improving our quality of lives at a lower cost and quicker turnaround. Transitioning back to construction tech, the point that I want to highlight is the susceptibility of these shiny objects to becoming surrogates for the goals and that once a narrative is established it can be extremely difficult to switch directions.

Construction, like the automotive industry, is massive and accounts for ≈4% of the GDP in the US (Automotive is ≈3%) and creates our shelter, our work, and our entertainment. We’ve seen venture investments in ConTech growing from under $0.1B in 2011 to $5.4B in 2022, while still trailing the $10-13B invested in electric vehicles and components, it has become a formable industry, yet fragmented and lacking the generalizability to fully capture the excitement and investment like automotive. And while nothing exists in a vacuum and urban planning, construction, mobility, etc. are all interconnected, the ecological impact of construction and its product, buildings, is comparable with energy use in buildings accounting for 17% and transportation 16% of total CO2 emissions (noting these figures vary substantially to what’s included, how they are calculated, etc.) This oversimplification of the macro-picture is simply to illustrate that while these industries are comparable in size and impact, automotive receives a disproportionate amount of the global discussion from investment to regulations and that ConTech has potential for growth. A myriad of reasons can easily explain this from the fragmentation of the construction industry lacking lobbying groups to cars being a consumer product, or maybe it was just an evangelical entrepreneur who parlayed his success with Paypal to forge a new car company that capitalized on America’s love of cars with the perfect storyline. (Tesla does not define itself though as a car company) Whatever the reasons, the fact is that ConTech is here, it has its storyline(s), its rising unicorns, and my question of all is rambling takes me back to highlighted susceptibility above, which has modular; 3D printing; construction management software; BIM; Digital Twins (reality capture); and other technologies become the goal with the assumption that their growth will bring the promised productivity gains; automation / reduced labor demand; and provide a more sustainable construction? 

Up to now, I’ve loosely established that ConTech can be both economically and ecologically with near parity to automotive, yet the funding is not as universal as is within the automotive space. Continuing with the analogy of the switch towards EVs, there is the question of infrastructure, i.e. building out a charger network. Construction is sitting on the opportunity to standardize its operations and capitalize on the arbitrage of its lack of productivity increases (almost every pitch deck has some form of the Mckinsey productivity chart from 2015). As the nation starts to cut deals to open charging networks and set standards on universal charger designs, the myriad of ConTech advancements have done little to standardize permitting, building codes, take-offs, bidding, and project management despite the availability of tools like BIM, LEED, and a myriad of project management software for years. This lack of transparency and mention of the bureaucratic costs associated with construction makes it challenging for new technology to be adopted and scaled into the built world. The bespoke nature of buildings means per-project set-up costs easily negate the potential savings and even if savings can be achieved they are benchmarked to unrealistic expectations like not accounting for change orders or unexpected permitting challenges. This lack of tangible productivity gains is a narrative though that gets little voice as speaking out goes against too many vested interests, from VCs that hype up their investments (primarily in software), to corporates that want to highlight that they are progressive, to the self-fulfilling world of ConTech with its conferences, to the start-ups themselves that have to sell the dream. “In theory, theory and reality are the same. But in reality, they are different.” This quote which lacks attribution dates back at least to the late 1800s and speaks to me of the importance of predictability, knowing the real world infinitely better so that theory merges with reality, is in some ways paraphrasing the promise of the day with A.I. (Artificial Intelligence). Predictability is the slow and steady metric, that will win the race to increased productivity in construction, yet as mentioned, slow, steady, and interdependent makes for a lousy pitch deck, especially over the past several years of optimism. As every industry currently works to understand how AI will impact them, potentially now is the inflection point when ConTech needs to come to terms with the excitement of this recent boom as construction was the last frontier (maybe better the most recent frontier) where LPs, GPs, and others flush with cash where excited to repurpose their software to this industry in need of salvation. To be candid, I shared this optimism bias, it was exciting times to be in ConTech, yet looking backward, I caution that this is a delicate balance, and while I may have been misguided, I was not mistaken. Every project needs funding, they need favorable sentiment, they need innovative technological breakthroughs, etc., but this balance is a delicate one, as bubbles can over-allocate resources that contribute little to fundamental change and this lost momentum can cause a downward spiral in construction tech. So as the industry now adopts the latest trend (not to infer that this trend is good, bad, or forever, simply that this is the latest fad), I’d like to highlight my opinion that most often technology is most beneficial in an aggregated use case and this is an opportunity to reshape the narratives of recent.

3D Construction printing (3DCP), is one of these golden technologies, it embodies the propensities highlighted above where we speak more of something being 3D printed than its comparison to conventional. Justifiably, 3DCP offers the ability to be the pacemaker to a construction site, opening up the potential for the entire ecosystem to rely on its standard of truth to compress build times, as the as-built matches a digital file, which means prefab elements require no site rework and deliveries scheduled without hiccups or insurance companies now have a timestamped digital file to use in the actuary tables. The technology noted is still very much in its infancy and early scaling stage, so cost and state of the technology aside, the allure of printing has completely replaced its intended purpose of increased productivity, decreased labor, and overall cost reduction. All noted and easily excusable if the robotic precision was measured by some standard of predictability, like OEE. It’s completely normal for start-ups to have a delta as the prototype’s features and benefits are still in development, simply noting that this delta is extremely well hidden with 3DCP. Nonetheless, this golden standard of OEE does not solve everything, as autonomous vehicles for example that have been increasing reliability to detect dangers receive press coverage of every accident while nearly 100 people die daily in the US from car crashes, which highlights this journey of tech adoption is not without a barrier of human sentiment, fear, and acceptance. One example that speaks to the success of prioritizing predictability fits both the bespoke nature of construction and the power of user adoption. In a talk with founder Uri Levine, he revealed that the algorithm was programmed to highlight the route with the highest probability of arriving on time and that the maps were user generated. The user-generated component means that if the majority of cars turned in a circle that it would infer a roundabout and this is how they generated the maps, while I’m not an expert in project management tools, the ones I’ve used have all been top-down management, not ground up like this (no pun intended). The second component was prioritizing predictability, this may be counter to most people wanting the quickest route, just like construction we want to improve speed, but this “guarantee” of sorts led users to believe in the quality of the product, thus bringing up user adoption, and eventually having robust options to also provide the quickest routes. I have not seen true empirical data yet on user adoption and documented benefits of a lot of the ConTech software that has been rolled out in the past years, yet confident to speculate that few have this compounding rate of increasing predictability. As this theme of unicorn stories of singular mutually exclusive technologies like 3DCP continues to grow, we also run the risk of being blindsided by parallel advancements with incumbent technologies. There are a myriad of digital fabrication options from automated CMU placing robots to autonomous drywalling and more, and without a proper baseline to connect these, I fear the construction industry will struggle to meet its innovation targets. 

As the ConTech industry now begins to integrate and adopt A.I. as the solution, it’s important to remember that no industry exists in a vacuum and one paradigm-shifting innovation does not negate a myriad of others. Construction remains a diverse and complex equation to solve, as years of processes have trained contractors to pad their bids and keep their guard-ups. Litigation from project delays, and safety issues, to failing buildings, has led to an industry cautious to embrace change, and rightfully so. Yet, the industry has made progress in getting publicity for good and bad, it has brought in funding, investors, and technologies from silicon valley, academia, the military, and more, minting unicorns, creating new university departments and curriculums, and the large developers and builders have all created innovation teams. As the macro-economy remains elusive, this is a time of realignment and I ask the industry to be critical of the narrative that progress is inherently good, and that sometimes vested interest may not share the same time horizon to honestly create the infrastructure change that is needed and that the industry demands empirical measurements of efficacy. 

So while the ConTech community continues to capitalize on the arbitrage between current building techniques and Industry 4.0’s promise, I am also asking myself what the future of buildings looks like. Not to undermine the needed and already achieved strides in building technologies, but like Uber did not change the product (i.e. the taxi) it changed the service, the construction world also needs to start asking how it is changing the service? What will it mean when a building will have a complete BOM (bill of materials), its digital twin, where the building can be valued independently of the land (i.e. separate real estate into a building and land product). Will this create new markets for interchangeable building materials or components, as up until now the model was that the depreciation of the building was to be offset by the appreciation of the property. (Analogous to leased cars valued off depreciation or the used car market) Or will new use case models emerge, like with cars as autonomous vehicles become the norm, and parking garages will be repurposed as cars will be shared. The point I’d like to end with is simply that the construction industry is only at the very beginning of its transition and we really have little idea what the future of sharing economy, IoT, smart cities, decentralized production, and the rise of A.I. will impact how the world interacts with its product, buildings, but the one element that appears clear to me is a need for a better-packaged product. Buildings need to be standardized and digitized not just from the composition perspective but also from the modification and construction perspective so that these new technologies can speak to and reallocate resources, like building materials and building equipment so that like my vision of the interconnected roadways we can work towards a common goal. This goal is a journey and I hope that one day we’ll have both autonomous electric vehicles and the interconnected infrastructure, just like I hope that one-day construction will deliver a 100% predictable product that is ecologically sustainable and economically available to provide the needed shelter and productive spaces that we live in. 

Postscript on the title:

This article illustrates some of the narratives that we, the construction tech world, have created and how they themselves can become truths. So I ask myself, how different really is our intelligence that is judged by our ability to evaluate technology based on these creations, so different from that of A.I… one main one is that we screen for and are critical of the data sets used to train computer models while paying little attention to where our own biases may come from.

About the Author:

Matthew Carli is a global construction tech executive with an accomplished track record of founding and spearheading innovation efforts from starting an innovation team to developing holistic operational strategies. With experience in both the start-up and corporate world, working and living around the world, an MBA in international business, and a background in strategy and business development, Matthew brings a holistic human perspective toward shaping new ventures. Passionate about creating positive change he currently consults start-ups and investors. Based in Miami, FL, and open to new opportunities. |

The Rise of Geopolymer Buildings | A World First

In the realm of 3D printed construction, geopolymer has long been hailed as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional concrete. However, until now, the world had yet to witness the creation of a 3D printed geopolymer building. In this exciting video, we delve into not only the groundbreaking 3D printed geopolymer building but also explore a precast geopolymer structure and innovative flat pack disaster housing. Join me, Jarett Gross, as I take you on this journey of automation and sustainability.

Firstly, I had the pleasure of meeting William Hoff from Geopolymer International, who has been tirelessly searching for a solution to low-cost housing for over 30 years. Inspired by the United Nations’ efforts to provide better shelter for refugee camps, William embarked on his mission to utilize geopolymer instead of steel or concrete. To achieve this, he cleverly repurposed a used shipping container into a portable, precast mold system. By casting geopolymer walls inside the container, he was able to create a cost-effective and sustainable construction solution.

Curious about the lifting process, I inquired about how the walls were maneuvered into place. William explained that a 10,000-pound forklift was used to carefully position the precast sections. With a glance inside, it became evident that the system employed angle iron and embedded fixtures to weld the panels together, creating a sturdy structure. This innovative approach, reminiscent of the tilt-up concrete technique, showcased the versatility of geopolymer as a building material.

As we delved deeper into the science behind geopolymer, William demonstrated the components used to create this remarkable material. Silicates were mixed with reactive minerals, along with sand, to form the geopolymer. William emphasized the importance of using dry sand to avoid moisture-related issues, as geopolymer’s strength lies in its crystalline structure. Resistant to extreme heat and highly durable, geopolymer boasts remarkable resilience, making it an excellent choice for construction.

William also clarified a common misconception about geopolymer, noting that it is not an alkaline-activated material as some might think. Instead, it undergoes a process of polymerization, growing a matrix of crystals that interlock and reinforce the structure. This distinction is crucial because alkaline-activated materials can be hazardous, while geopolymer is safe to handle and poses no harm to the skin.

Intriguingly, Geopolymer International expanded its horizons from precast construction to embrace 3D concrete printing. Collaborating with Strongprint 3D, they successfully printed the world’s first geopolymer 3D printed house. The process involved using Renca geopolymer material, which was shipped from afar but is soon to be produced locally in the United States. This development is a testament to the increasing accessibility and affordability of geopolymer construction.

William explained that geopolymer’s exceptional bonding properties minimize cracking, with expansion joints mainly used in areas with columns. The flexibility of geopolymer allowed them to print continuously, although they divided the printing into five phases to accommodate the nighttime working schedule and ensure the well-being of their team.

Inside the house, I discovered that rough-ins for plumbing and electrical systems were already in place. William had strategically integrated PEX tubing and electrical cutouts while printing the structure, making the installation process significantly easier. This approach saved both time and expenses, providing a glimpse into the efficiency and practicality of geopolymer construction.

Throughout the interview, William passionately discussed the advantages of geopolymer over traditional Portland cement. He highlighted sustainability, durability, recyclability, fireproofing, and waterproofing as key factors. With Portland cement responsible for a significant portion of CO2 emissions, geopolymer emerged as a more environmentally friendly and longer-lasting alternative. William emphasized the recyclability of geopolymer, highlighting its potential to be crushed and reused, further reducing waste and enhancing sustainability.

In conclusion, witnessing the birth of 3D printed geopolymer construction is an exciting development for the industry. William Hoff and Geopolymer International are demonstrating this sustainable material, showcasing its versatility, strength, and longevity. Geopolymer is throwing its hat in the bucket for housing, disaster relief, and environmentally conscious building practices. As we embrace this innovative technology, the future of construction looks brighter and more sustainable than ever.

Note: This article is sponsored by the course “How to 3D Print a House” offered by Jarett Gross. The course provides in-depth insights into the construction process of 3D printed homes, comparing them to traditional construction methods and offering guidance on software, hardware, materials, and more. For those interested in embarking on their own 3D printed construction journey, the course offers valuable knowledge and is currently available at beta pricing.

Automating Welding in Construction


Over 500,000 workers are exposed to health and safety risks due to the hazardous nature of welding each year in the United States of America alone, one can only imagine the numbers when looked at on a global scale. These risks include overexposure to welding fumes and gases, which can result in serious health issues like cancer, respiratory illnesses, and impairments in speech and movement. Welding also exposes workers to constant risks of burns, eye damage, cuts, crushed toes and fingers, and electrocution, which is the most serious and immediate risk. Skilled welders will become scarcer and it’s even more challenging to keep the welders you have. To bridge the gap across the world, manufacturers are looking to automation and robotics at exponential levels, with forecasted growth of $10 Billion in the next five years. Automating the wielding sector is a little bit more difficult because welding involves fire and heating materials, so the standards are a little bit greater. Nevertheless when there is a challenge, there is an opportunity. Some companies around the world have taken hold of this opportunity and have created relevant solutions that are already being applied.


Path Robotics was founded by Andy and Alex Lonsberry while working on their PhDs at Case Western, after they discovered a massive opportunity to rethink welding in 2014. Path Robotics is an Artificial Intelligence company producing autonomous welding robots based on proprietary artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms.

The Path system scans and creates a 3D model of each part to be welded, using sensors it detects highly reflective surfaces and survive harsh manufacturing environments. It analyzes the sensor data on the fly to understand each part individually using proprietary AI, and creates quality weld by creating optimal robotic paths and part positioning. With the path robotic system, rework, part placement, perfect parts and robot programming is settled.

Path robotics have ability to learn on the job. The Robotics cells identify the seam and can make adjustments based on the part that is in front of the robot. Real-time feedback and post-weld inspection feed the AI technology to provide consistently optimal weld quality. Path is a true “turn-key” solution to the labor challenges.


SquareDog Robotics is an award-winning Hong Kong-based technology company specializing in smart service robots, it was established in 2018.  SquareDog Robotics mission is to create smart robotic solutions to intuitively complement and enhance man-made work in a whole new way. The company was formerly Welbot Technology before adopting the name SquareDog Robotics. The name comprises of two elements, Square and Dog. Square meaning they are original, self-developed and they develop from the base. Dog meaning Just as a Dog is man’s best friend, their robots is here to assist humans, not replace them.

SquareDog welding robot called SDG ROBO WELDER, uses artificial intelligence to program the welding technique to be used, into the robot. After using a scanner to scan and calculate every weld, the robot emphasis stability and begins to weld. One of its key applications is to assist the worker to execute and perform high quality works to a high degree of precision, with greater safety and ease , therefore resulting in enhanced productivity.

SquareDog robots are light, flexible, cost effective and reasonably priced. No special technique is needed to operate the robots, as it can be operated by a novice worker.

SquareDog robotics has made a lot of impact, since inception. They are dedicated to their mission to enhance man-made works.


Orangewood Labs is a company that designs and manufactures collaborative robotic arms for industrial processes, it was established in 2018 by  Aditya Bhatia and Abhinav Das with the aim to democratize robots, strengthening each maker’s abilities and boosting output on factory floors around the world, they are building AI-powered robotic arms for small and mid-sized industries. Although the industry leader’s robotic arms are far more accurate than orangewood robotics. Not every endeavor calls for perfect accuracy. Currently, they are concentrating on industrial applications including pick-and-place, welding, and spray painting.

REFERENCE Accessed on 19th April 2023 , Accessed on 20th April 2023  Accessed on 20th April 2023

COBOD Recent Completed Projects

According to the World Economic Forum, the housing gap will be 1.6 billion by 2025, and our existing operating model does not provide a solution. The global building and construction industry is facing significant problems. We are unable to keep up with demand, which inhibits global economic growth. COBOD’s mission is to build a better future by disrupting the global construction industry through world-class 3D construction robots. COBOD is the biggest 3D construction printing solution Company in the US with the most projects and activities across all states, they carry on these projects using locally sourced materials to reduce transportation, minimizing waste on-site and making buildings that last. COBOD follows an open-source approach, collaborating with consumers, academic institutions, and suppliers worldwide. COBOD is privately held, with important owners including General Electric, CEMEX, and PERI, and its partners include Dar Al Arkan (Saudi Arabia), L&T Construction (India), and JGC (Japan).

History of COBOD.

COBOD began as another company called HOUSE OF 3D PRINTING. The company carried out 3 years of research into the art of 3D printing in Denmark, after which they got a grant from the Danish Government. The Danish Government had concerns about 3D printing researches and knowledge the House of 3D printing was getting, as it was limited to only Denmark. The Grant given by the government was to travel around the world, carry out new researches, finding out new developments and bring the best Technology back into the Danish construction sector. Using this grant, The House of 3d Printing visited 38 different construction companies, projects and universities, at the end of this research they realized that the press has overstated the advantages of this technology and they were not so impressed. As 3D printing experts they knew they could do better and built their first 3D printer in just 6months, which is the first generation 3D construction printer. The house of 3d Printing demonstrated the potential of this technology by creating the first 3D printed building in Europe under 2 months, this was done with process transparency and total honesty, this single act created a global interest in the technology. The first printed house which was printed in 2017 is called BOD meaning Building on Demand, despite being smaller than 50 square meters (538 square feet), BOD is sufficiently big to show some of the architectural and financial advantages of using 3D printing technology in construction. The company at this point knew the company for this new innovation had to be separated, and COBOD was born, COBOD means Construction of Buildings on Demand. In 2019, COBOD 3D printed the building a second time in just 28 hours over 3 days. This was a productivity gain of 20x, which signifies the incredibly steep learning curve of the company and also the potential the technology has that is yet to be discovered. COBOD is headquartered in Denmark with regional offices and competence centers in Florida and Malaysia.

COBOD is currently leading in the construction of 3D printing as shown by global inventory. Research shows that by end of 2022, there were 129 3D printed buildings globally found on 105 building sites, Over 40 percent of projects, or 51 buildings, have been created using COBOD’s 3D construction printers worldwide and 40% of the construction sites where 3D-printed buildings have been constructed have also included these printers. In 2022 COBOD’s printers did almost 60% of all new 3D printed buildings. With more than 65 printers sold globally and major industrial players like GE Renewable Energy, Holcim, CEMEX, and PERI joining as strategic owners, COBOD has experienced fast growth in recent years. Further regional competence centers have been built in Miami and Kuala Lumpur to support this growth, and COBOD has even released an annual report.


Recently the COBOD printers have been taking over the industry and giving this 3D technology the attention it well deserves some of the projects are state of the art three floors smart home villa in Saudi, 10 houses 3d printed in 10 weeks using a COBOD printer.

State Of The Art Three Floors Smart Home Villa In Saudi 

The state of art smart home is currently the world’s tallest 3D printed building, it is a 3-story, 9.9 m tall building compromises 345 m2 and was made by the leading Saudi Arabian real estate developer, Dar Al Arkan, using a COBOD 3D construction printer. The first floor has an area of 130 m2 which includes a spacious hall which has several living areas, a kitchen, and 2 toilets. The second floor is 140 m2 and has 3 bedrooms (one of which is a master bedroom) 2 bathrooms, a living room, and a balcony. The third floor is a roof annex which holds a maid’s room with a bathroom, a multipurpose hall and a laundry room. In Saudi Arabi such a building, although it consists of 3 floors is referred to as a two story + annex, due to the third floor being somewhat smaller than the two first floors. The project was executed using local materials and the D.fab solution developed by Cemex and COBOD. This solution allows COBOD customers to use 99% local and inexpensive materials, which all of the walls of the 345 m2 building was printed with, while only relying on 1% sourced from a central location, It is an excellent illustration of how innovation and technology can coexist with safety and regulation because it was 3D printed in just 26 days and complies with all construction codes. Regarding the completed villa that was 3D printed The 3-story villa from Dar Al Arakan, the founder and general manager of COBOD  Henrik Lund-Nielsen said it, “truly represents state of the art of the 3D construction printing sector both in terms of scale and quality as well as in many other areas. The villa serves as an example of the technology’s capabilities in terms of scale, rapidity, the use of inexpensive local materials, and creative solutions. Our technique provides the world’s fastest construction process, and when this is combined with inexpensive locally produced concrete, a successful combination has been formed.”


The COBOD printer has been continually used to cover milestones in the 3D printing industry. 14Trees is a joint venture company formed by Holcim, the cement and concrete giant, and British International Investment to accelerate the provision of affordable housing in Africa. The joint venture built the first 3D printed homes in Africa as well as the world’s first 3D printed schools.  14Trees plans to 3D print up to 52 dwellings in Kilifi, Kenya, utilizing a single COBOD BOD2 printer which is made of high-quality materials and is carefully engineered to meet the high requirements of the construction industry both in terms of speed, stability, and durability. The joint venture finished the 3D printing of the walls of ten residences in January 2023 in just ten weeks from October 2022 to January 2023, using only one BOD2 printer.         “With 3D printing, you can solve two problems at once,” said 14Trees managing director Francois Perrot. “You can build faster like we have shown here with our 10 houses in 10 weeks. At the same time, we can achieve better cost efficiency, which will help make affordable housing a reality for the majority. In addition, you can build with less materials, which preserves the resources of the planet for future generations.” The 10 houses printed comprises of  6 three-bedrooms (76 m2 / 836 SF) and 4 two-bedrooms (56 m2 / 616 SF) houses have been 3D, making Mvule Gardens in Kilifi the largest 3D printed project to date . The productivity level of 14Trees is also unmatched as no other construction company in the US has matched this level. The Head of COBOD America, Philip Lund-Nielsen, made a remark of the impressive work the 14Trees used COBOD printer to achieve, He stated, “Considering how difficult the conditions are in Africa, it is impressive, that 14Trees has printed more houses on a single site, than any other construction 3D printing company in the US or elsewhere. In addition, they have done it faster, using just a single COBOD 3D printer not by using 5 printers or more”.


GLOBAL INVENTORY OVER 3D PRINTED BUILDINGS SHOWS COBOD’S LEADING POSITION | COBOD International A/S ( Accessed on the 5th April 2023 Accessed on the 5th April 2023.


CyBe First Printed Home Stateside

CyBe Construction was established in 2012 by the founder and CEO Berry Hendriks. CyBe has developed hardware, software, building materials, and learning platforms, it is one of the leaders in this construction industry and has a motto to “learn by doing”. Unlike most 3D printing companies, one can say that the CEO and founder of CyBe Berry Hendriks has the blood of construction flowing throw his veins. Berry Hendriks’ family runs a construction company that dates back to 1922, where he’s brother is the current owner of the company, after his a father. He was a project manager in the company and produced a Bim project which meant he designed housing in 3d and at some point he has to manage almost 100 construction workers making sure that they would work starting at seven o’clock in the morning. After realizing the potential of the 3d printing industry he quit his job and started CyBe in 2012. The experiences gained helps CyBe to be more construction oriented than technology oriented, like Mr. Berry mentioned on the Automate Construction Podcast , “instead of focusing on the technology itself, we want to build faster and cheaper, the 3D printing and parametric designs technology is just a means to an end”.

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CyBe has been able to develop a unique printing material called “CyBe MORTAR’, it contains very low chloride and sulphate content, allowing it to set in just one hour, and it has around 32% less integrated CO2 than Portland cement.

NEW TECHOLOGY (Robotic arm versus Gantry system)

One cannot really rigidly rank the printing systems been used, as they are determined by factors of what kind of project is been done, where is the project been done and the regulations governing the environment of where the project is being done.

When using a gantry system, it needs to be shipped in modular units and a crane or a forklift is needed on site to put all the piece in place. The setup and take down cost is somewhat expensive especially when used on jobsites. On the other hand the robotic arm is can be easy to convey, but has limited height range when printing. The focus for robotic arm is on printing and pre-casting elements, whether on site or offsite, which can be later assembled.

In 2019 CyBe had a collaboration with an Indian company, they were to build a G + 3 apartment and using the robotic arm CyBe was able to print elements of the building and assemble. Their next project to print a G plus 7 building led to the development of their new model gantry system. The gantry system is 7 m x 10 m x 4 m, which enables the company to build two in a day. This model prints the floor and the walls of the building simultaneously.


CyBe has had the opportunity to be involved with many projects, as well as head many others. Currently CyBe is working on the first permitted C Bay house in Florida. They are also looking to expand in the American market as 3DPC continues to grow.

CyBe currently has land in Netherland, where they plan on building an apartment complex for 12 people, who can rent it. This project is going to be the first permanent building their latest gantry technology would be used to print, it has a quotation that estimates to reduce construction cost by 30 % when compared to the convention construction. All things being equal they plan to begin printing in their factory by August or September 2023 and are currently selecting the 12 occupant of the homes.

Even though there is still a small market for 3D printing in the construction industry and it isn’t frequently utilized to build homes, the adoption of this technology as a more cost-effective construction method is growing.


ETH Zurich & Research in Construction Automation

3D printing is a rapidly growing technology that often captures significant hype and attention. Researchers study this technology to determine its sustainability and potential applications. By educating the public with facts and real-life examples, they make it easier to understand the positive and negative effects of this emerging field. In the construction industry, 3D printing has proven to be a sustainable technology, with high productivity rates driving its advancement.

Economic incentives for 3D printing in construction primarily stem from labor replacement. As labor shifts towards high-end construction projects, such as skyscrapers, developed countries like the US and Canada face labor shortages. This creates a target market for 3D printing in the construction of single-family homes, where cost benefits come from replacing labor and traditional masonry. A US Army Corps of Engineers analysis, based on their BEE HUT project, supports these findings.

3D printing also introduces digitalization to the construction industry, with researchers working to bridge the gap between their studies and practical applications. However, there are challenges related to sustainability when using printed concrete:

  • High cement concentration in mix designs: Ongoing research aims to reduce cement content in 3D printed concrete, but changes at the material level are applicable to standard concrete as well, making shape efficiency the primary benefit of 3D printing.
  • Sand: As a limited resource and key material for 3D printing, ideal sand types (river or beach sand) are not always readily available, and countries with only desert sand must import large quantities. This results in high consumption of sand and cement in 3D printing.
  • Failure: Two major types of failures are strength-based failure and elastic bulking. Strength-based failure occurs when the material isn’t strong enough to support the weight of upper layers, while elastic bulking involves multiple factors such as geometry, elastic modulus, stiffness, and external forces like wind.

To improve sustainability, researchers are exploring CO2 reduction in cement production by substituting Portland cement with alternatives like fly ash, a residue from coal combustion that can enhance concrete durability and workability. However, fly ash is not sufficient on a global scale. Another potential material, called LC3 (Limestone, calcium, clay, cement), is currently under investigation for 3D printing use. LC3, created by combining clay burned at lower temperatures with limestone, functions like standard cement but produces 50% less CO2.

Research plays a crucial role in technology development, often leading to the creation of new programs and applications. Although it is difficult to predict the future of 3D printing, it is clear that there is still much untapped potential. As researchers continue to explore this technology, new opportunities and breakthroughs will likely be uncovered.

A Leader in On Site Automation Has Emerged


The process of building houses hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years. Like many other 3D startups, Diamond Age set out to solve the problem of housing, but with a fresh spin on 3D printing technology. Co-founders Jack Oslan and Russell Varone identified the housing problem and came up with 3D printing as a solution. They spoke with land developers, structural engineers, architects, and representatives of building materials. All their conversations received mixed reactions, but they continued their search, knowing the potential of the 3D printing industry. After gaining momentum, Jack created a business thesis while Russell created a technology thesis. Established in 2018 and situated in Phoenix, Arizona, the company has created a Robotics-as-a-Service system that automates new home construction for the production housing market, utilizing 3D printing, mechatronics, and robotics. The company aims to address the difficulties faced by the construction industry, such as labor scarcity, high costs, and lengthy construction schedules.

Diamond Age has always been a company dedicated to its cause. Everyone who worked in the early days of Diamond Age knew each other, familiar with each other’s quirks and strengths. They could all weld, machine, and CAD. They were all hands-on builders who did everything themselves, which was crucial. An early team established the culture of always being hands-on with the machines. There were no department managers or directors, and even though the company is still growing, they are all intimately connected to the work, which is how they pushed a startup that can move the 3D printing industry.

Diamond Age’s 3D printing-based response to housing challenges is more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods. The company uses sustainable materials, reducing waste and the environmental impact of building. The system also produces less noise and pollution, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Diamond Age can produce residences of all sizes and shapes thanks to the system’s scalability. The company’s emphasis on sustainability is not only great for the environment, but it also helps consumers save money on building costs. Furthermore, the approach has the potential to manufacture homes in as little as 30 days, significantly reducing construction cycle times and allowing for quick occupancy. This can help to address the issue of affordable housing, which is a big concern in many areas. The success of Diamond Age has not gone unnoticed, and the company has already made tremendous gains in its aim to change the building sector. The business just raised $50 million in a series A fundraising round, which it will use to expand its robots platform and complete its first commercial contract to build homes. The company has also grown in size and intends to expand further. Diamond Age’s technology has evolved significantly since its previous funding round, allowing it to print and construct a 2,000-square-foot single-story home. The business delivered its first scaled version of its system, as well as a full-scale 3-bed, 2-bath house in 11 months – 4 months ahead of plan. This led to the company’s first deal with a national homebuilder, the details of which the founders are keeping under wraps for the time being, but they anticipate that announcement will come shortly.

One of the major challenges the 3D industry is facing is the lack of exposure to the public. Diamond Age needs to educate the public about the benefits of automated construction. Many people are not familiar with the technology and may not understand how it works or why it is beneficial. However, companies like Automated Construction, whose sole purpose is to bring 3D printing of houses into the limelight, are certain that the public is not far from noticing this brilliant technology. As more people become aware of the labor shortages and challenges facing the construction industry

REFERENCES Accessed on 30th March 2023 Accessed on 30th March 2023 Accessed on 30th March 2023

MICOB Printing Indian Military Structures

MiCob private limited is a 3D printing company in India whose primary clients are the India defense military. They provide customized 3D Concrete Printing solution for various sectors like Infrastructure, Housing, Architecture, Outdoor furniture, etc. which is backed by years of research. Just like most 3D printing companies, the founders of MICOB- Ankita Sinha, Rishabh Mathur and Shashank Shekhar, had foreseen the impact 3D printing would have on the construction industry and joined it. 

One of the founders of MiCob Shashank Shekhar, a graduate in Civil engineering and a PHD graduate in 3D concrete printing, mentioned the intent of MiCob private limited in a podcast with automate construction. The intent of the company is not only to develop the 3D printing technology, but to solve problems using the technology. The company works closely with its clients and also educates them on- the scope of work to be carried out, the material to be used, the possible options on building with 3D technology, the type of finishes, the multiple modes of construction and the advantages as well as the disadvantages of every action carried out. They optimize time, cost and ensure things are delivered as discussed with the client. MiCob offers transparency in products, services and after-sales services for a lasting relationship with our clients.

MiCob deals on prefabrication construction i.e. they do most printing offsite. The company provides smaller versions of structures with the same quality that is to be constructed, in other to create a visual picture and increase the level of comfort for their clients in entrusting them with the project.

How It Began.

MiCob started the company selling only furniture. They started their journey with creating custom furniture, which was sold in different regions if India. After the company got in contact with the problems facing the military defense, they decided to focus on the military defense to ensure that they were solving a problem that otherwise won’t be solved.

MiCob developed their first gantry system in 2017, using grants from various government agencies in India. The second system was built in 2020. Both gantry systems where primarily used for research of software and material. In order to print long lasting structures that lasts about 5 to 10 decades, the company continually learnt from mistakes made in the research and built upon it. The company used a simple extruder in their research phase which they developed themselves. Materials were mixed in a separate pan mixer and poured into a hopper. Later on, they switched to using a combination of a continuous mixer which was coupled with a progressive screw cavity pump, and now, the company uses a combined mixer provided by Mtech. The gradual growth process of the company led to the brilliant and recognized MiCob known today.

MiCob currently supplies products to the military defense in India. They recently concluded various projects such as; a G plus one building which serves  as a watchtower, a G plus one building- housing about 64 soldiers, one G three building which is a conventional RCC structure having 3D printed wall panels. MiCob’s business plan is to deliver products that are 3D printed. Products such as bunker RI which is movable and can be deployed on site in 2 to 3 days when printed (which would take about 30 to 35 days using the traditional construction method), and large shelters that are printed in about 10 to 15 days. The company is keen on creating value added products. Selling printers is not a plan in the agenda of the company, however, MiCob is structuring a franchise model that would be made across nations at specific location in order to educate people on how to use the printers. Through this franchise, they would be able to create landscaping and furniture using 3D printing. This model will be available in about one to two months. MiCob is introducing a hybrid model into the construction industry where standard components like slabs, beams, and columns are made by conventional means while all non-load bearing components like walls are 3D printed; this also improves stability of the structure. The company is also expanding its factories by opening three (3) more units at strategic locations, and this will further help reduce the cost of production. MiCob is a team with a strong background in Construction, Automation, and Project management, supported by experienced mentors from a diverse background. Our high-performance solutions are backed by years of research at IIT Gandhinagar. 

WOHN Homes 3D Printing Wooden Living Spaces

Many companies in the construction industry set to make great impact using this new technology- 3D printers for building homes. WOHN homes has a different dimension to this technology. Could we say this dimension is a new breakthrough for the 3D printing industry? The CEO of WOHN homes, Morten Bove fell in love with the technology behind 3D printed houses but not the concrete materials used. He mentioned in a recent episode of The Automate Construction Podcast (linked at the bottom) that the real motive of joining the construction industry was to solve the problem of social inequalities by building affordable homes; he also did not fail to mention that he had come a long way in other industries before coming into the construction industry.

WOHN Home deals with an alternative material, which is a special formula between waste plastics and wood fiber. A lot of testing was done before this formula was birthed. During the testing process, many waste plastics were used as a replacement for concrete but the structures always collapsed. The company’s ultimate motivation gave them the zeal to pursue the quest of finding an alternative material for 3D printing of affordable homes and, because of the large amount of waste plastics generated a year, they were certain that something had to come out of it.  They thought of how these waste plastics could be reinforced without the use of concrete; as they needed a material that would leave little or no carbon footprints since they saw the huge carbon footprints left when producing cement. This is one of the main issues with every traditional construction process, and the use of concrete during 3D printing does not solve this problem. That’s when the company had an idea to add wood fiber- sawdust as reinforcement, which made the material a whole lot stronger and better, and a lot of successful testing have been done using this new special formula. This innovation can cause a paradigm shift in the way homes are built and constructed.

3D Printers and the Special Formula.

WOHN homes is to be sold anywhere in the world; the company prints everything in the factory and doesn’t need to print on site. After many tests and operations carried out, the company redesigned the extruder they work with, and now use a robotic arm due to the thickness of the material been used. The robotic arms increases the stability of the rig and reduces vibration when compared to the gantry. WOHN Homes revealed that they will officially start commercialization by the end of summer 2023. One of the main dealers will be developers, who build homes in volumes in order for the company to make larger impact to the society. The company is certain that their decision to sell mostly to developers wouldn’t delay sales because they check off the boxes of sustainability, affordability and waste.

WOHN Homes The Future.

A WOHN home has a lifecycle of 50 to 60 years, after which the house can be recycled by adding fresher waste; depending on the number of recycling the plastics used for the buildings have undergone. The company has a method put in place for evaluating and testing the homes eligible for recycling using this criterion. The element of recycling a home gradually kicks out the culture in the society of ‘use it once and throw it away’. In using polymers and wood fiber as an alternate material for 3D printing constructions, nothing really goes to waste- the plastics that cannot be used due to number of times it has been recycled (which ideally is 7 times) can be used for landfill and burnt for fuel by other companies. A waste product of wood called wood wool is turned into pulp, fluffed up and blown into channels known as cores, is used as insulation; which also reduces the use of fossil fuel to make rock wall types of products that are considered as heavy carbon contributors in the world. WOHN digs into the escalating urbanization with 200,000 people moving to cities and urban surroundings every day. A trend so transformative to our present way of living, that it requires equally transformative concepts and thinking to handle it.

Icon 3D Printing 100 Homes with Lennar near Austin, Tx

Discovering how economies of scale impact 3D printed houses has been one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the tech. I got the unique opportunity to visit the active construction site where Icon currently has 7 of their Vulcan concrete printers extruding their proprietary Lavacrete mix.

CEO Jason Ballard and I walked around brand new homes just starting their first layer all the way to the first home they printed which has already been turned over to Lennar for completion after printing. You can follow along our tour or listen to the podcast we did at the bottom of this article.

Icon is serving as the subcontractor for this Georgetown project at Wolf Ranch. They agreed to a fixed price $.01 below what the Lennar wall contractors would typically charge. This means the onus is on Icon to deliver the homes and even if the cost to them comes out higher in the end, Lennar will not be on the hook. Fixed construction contracts are rare these days and it is a testament to the confidence Icon has in their technology and team.

After printing, Icon has one responsibility left before the handover to Lennar for completion and thats attaching custom CNC routed wood to the top of the printed walls to which the roof trusses can be secured. This makes installing the roof a very typical process for Lennar and Icon is handling the challenge of joining the roof to the curvy shapes of the wall.

Most importantly we got an answer to the economies of scale question. Having a big project, big team and big partner helped drive down costs compared to one off printed homes or smaller developments. This is because the teams can be more specialized instead of having a 3-4 man crew for the whole process. Icon also gets more negotiating leverage with suppliers now that they have a big partner and bigger order quantities.

This 100 home project is huge, by far the biggest construction project in the 3DCP world at the moment but it’s still only the beginning. There are millions of homes to be built and Icon is working hard to build the machines that can scale to that many homes. This project is offering tremendous learning opportunities for Icon and Lennar, traditional construction intelligence still plays a big role in 3D printed construction projects and fine tuning the details will unlock further efficiencies making construction automation more competitive with time.

One more thing I have to mention is the data collection happening. I got a glimpse at Icons HUD of their project showing comprehensive data on all the active prints going on and the projects progression over the many days. Some of these infographics were developed in house others utilize Palantir tech and both were incredibly impressive, it really felt like the future of construction.

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Live Prints & Top 10 Automation Firms from World of Concrete 2023

This year World of Concrete hosted many familiar 3DCP faces and some new teams too! I got interviews with RIC, Sika, Spacecrete, Geopolymer International, Cobod, Arc3D, Renca, Quickcrete, Ventures Equipment, and Mapei! I’ll try to give a little overview of what each had to share from the event. You can watch the interviews at the bottom of the article.

RIC was the highlight of the show with 2 printers on display and one in action. The robotic arm is on a mobile lift which gives it a tremendous Z-axis (height)  reach capability. They demonstrated printing quickcrete material at the event live. This is always a challenging feat, the law of engineering says that once you have an audience things will inevitably fail, despite this RIC managed to succeed both printing attempts on day 2 and 3 of the show.

Sika was also printing on a 3D Potter machine, you may recall when I visited their HQ/ Manufacturing facility last month. They were primarily demonstrating their unique material which can be deposited back in the hopper after being printed within a 15ish minute time frame. 

Spacecrete had a unique material solution, an admixture that when combined with concrete drastically increases it’s buildability. The CEO gave a demonstration mixing it live at his booth. They also had multiple iterations of concrete printing extruders. 

Geopolymer International brought their mixer pump to the show along with a huge variety of objects which are made with materials including the silica based geopolymer they love to use. This includes ceramics, hemp, asphalt, foam-crete, and rubbery materials. 

Cobod did not bring their printer this year but they did have an educational seminar which they allowed me to sit through. I missed the first half but the parts I saw were quite a good overview of the technology including some common pitfalls typical in any construction site like covering materials with a tarp if they are stored in a pile under a tree. Some of these things seem obvious to experts but many people in the 3DCP industry come from fields other than construction so educating these clients becomes a partial responsibility of the printer manufacturer.

ARC 3D is a new company on the scene of 3DCP, they brought a small scale model of what their truck mounted printer would look like on a job site. They also had some footage from the testing of their own extruder head. I am eager to see what their product looks like when it comes to fruition as they are taking a unique approach. They mentioned that their clients will not be restricted to a particular material and they are working on being able to work with local materials. 

Renca works closely with Geopolymer International and is a supplier of the geopolymer material for them. Geopolymer International will be starting a house project soon using a red version of the Renca material.

Quickcrete was in attendance and I got a quick interview with them, you may recall their material was used at the Houston 3D printed house project. Their material was also used at the RIC exhibit this year. They are very excited about the 3D printed construction industry. 

Ventures Equipment had a couple new systems for 3DCP a batch mixer with a scale for measuring your concrete ingredients. This will be a critical step for ultimately automating the mixing system. In the past Ventures Equipment did a sponsorship deal with my channel but that has since ended many months ago. I agreed to the sponsorship deal in the first place because they showed dedication to developing 3DCP mixing tech and that is still the case. This year their 3DCP offering is better than last year and I expect next years will improve too.

Maipei is the company Black Buffalo works with for their 3D printed mortar that was used on the recent Alquist project for Habitat in Virginia. This year they successfully achieved AC509 certification which was a very lengthy and expensive process. Now they are ready to hit the market with their certified material. They claim it is the first AC 509 certified material on the market and I believe that to be the case, other companies which have achieved this certification have yet to sell their material on the open market. 

There were a few more groups we’ve seen on my youtube channel that I met at the event and didn’t get the chance to film including R-Squared, Black Buffalo, Citizen Robotics & Matthew Carli. I also saw Homes Now & Heidelberg who I hope to feature on the channel in the near future. WOC 2023 was a great event and hopefully there will be even more automation there next year! 

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Rebuild 3DCP in Poland

Poland has been in the spotlight recently due to its proximity to conflict areas. By total coincidence, in close time proximity to when stray missiles hit Polish land I was scheduled to speak with the CEO of Rebuild 3DCP, Witold on the Automate Construction podcast. Rebuild is the company responsible for printing the first house in Poland on site.

You can listen to the podcast in its entirety for yourself at the link below. I’ll try to summarize what we discussed in this article. Currently Rebuild as a company is focused on the testing and measuring of its material parameters/ structural integrity. In order to implement this technology and construction at a large scale you have to possess a very clear understanding of the numbers that engineers can use to sign off on a building, ensuring that according to their calculations, it will stand. Having these calculations can be critical to permitting.

The first step for them was just getting the printer working and demonstrating the technology. There’s a huge difference between start ups before and after that point, before you actually get to the printing part, people have a gilded view, lacking full understanding of what’s required for the process, and the current state of the technology, which is not yet quite fully automated. In fact, there’s a long way to go towards full automation.

Rebuild has reached the point where the machine runs but the material needs to be dialed in. To my knowledge they are the only group implementing this technology in Poland, so they are now the leading experts of 3-D printed concrete in Poland. This means all of the trailblazing is up to them. It’s a big responsibility that will be the first step towards increased construction automation in their country, something I believe will be appreciated by many for years to come.

Witold came across this technology at his university where he was reviewing some research on 3d printed concrete technology. By my measure, there are 101 different concrete printer manufactures (the full list is available for automation nation members) obviously, they didn’t all come up with the idea originally. Many of them claim to and I believe it’s possible multiple could be telling the truth 3d printing has been around for a long time so it’s feasible that multiple people, even many people might independently come up with the idea to 3d print houses on their own. I would even venture to argue that it’s a natural consideration which comes to mind when you see a printer in action.

Witold specifically mentions it wasn’t his idea, but when they saw the research paper him and his team immediately saw that there were improvements they could implement for this technology. Knowing they could iterate beyond the current state of the market, they jumped in and have been contributing to improving this technology ever since spearheading the efforts in their country.

Concrete isn’t the only thing Rebuild seeks to automate, they also want to automate the reinforcement methods of the concrete. Taking another step towards the ultimate goal of automation. Most 3d printed construction jobs require a minimum of two people, often three or four people.

In Poland start ups like rebuild have access to grant funding to get started. They got their first round of grant funding at $200,000 then an additional round of $1 million converted to US according to Witold. 

We talked quite a bit about materials. The rebuild team is specialized in mechanical engineering so that’s one of the reasons materials is tricky, also there is such a limited demand for 3d Print Concrete in Poland. The material is not readily available and quite expensive as well. The material they’re currently using  has a three month warranty from the manufacture, and should last around six months, after about a year, it may not be good for use anymore.

It was great learning more about Witlolds experience founding his startup Rebuild in Poland. I can’t wait to see what they will bring to the table in coming years in the industry of construction automation.

10,000 Sqft 3D Printed Building

Printed Farms is at it again in Wellington Florida, you may recall the printed garage they built which I filmed on site very early on. Since then they printed a house in Tallahassee as well which I have also filmed extensively with the contractor from the job, precision builders.

Now Printed Farms is onto their most ambitious projects yet with an equestrian facility that will have over 10,000 sqft under the roof. The massive gantry printer they use will be moved many times throughout the project and the agricultural facility consists of multiple buildings that horse owners would be familiar with.

The CEO of Printed Farms Jim actually got his start in the equestrian industry, bringing faster more competitive horses from Europe over to the USA. I had Jim on the Automate Construction Podcast to discuss the vision behind Printed Farms and also a bit about his early career dealing with horses.

Visiting this new massive project of theirs on site during the print was one of the most impressive moments thus far in my construction tech journalism career due to the sheer scale of the project. One section already has 13ft printed walls and the day I was there they were at about eye level on the second section. We ran into Adrian who has been their mixer pump operator since the very beginning. Working with new tech is hard but they are getting quite good at it.

Even if you have a perfect team there are still so many things that can delay a construction project. In this case, Printed Farms likes to use very fresh material likely due to the humidity in Florida but during the hurricanes there was some supply issue and they couldn’t get new material as fast as they would have liked. It isn’t quite readily available at the local hardware/ construction supplies store. Whenever you are dealing with uncommon tech and materials there can be a higher risk of delays if you don’t have a diverse range of supplier options. As the industry grows we can imagine printable materials being produced by every major batch plant in the country but we’ve got quite a way to go.

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Printing Metal with Lasers

Meltio 3D is a Spanish startup developing metal printing extruder heads used around the world. Their system uses lasers to melt the inconel or other materials into a very dense custom formed part not limited by traditional casting or forging restrictions. This technology is opening up new design opportunities to make parts lighter and less wasteful.

Recently I got to have their CEO Angel Llavero López de Villalta on the Automate Construction Podcast to discuss their technology.

I first heard about Meltio when I happened to run into the CEO of One-Off Robotics in Chattanooga Tennessee while having lunch with the CEO of Branch Technology at a local sandwich shop. That same afternoon I stopped by One-Off Robotics and got a tour of their facility. I even saw them printing some metal bottle openers, you can check out that video below.

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Autonomously Constructed Homes For Sale by Diamond Age

Diamond Age wants to automate construction and they have been doing a pretty solid job so far! Earlier this year they announced 27 tools which will be utilized by an on site construction gantry system. So far 8/27 tools have been developed in a beta stage including a detachable concrete printing extruder head.

This all sounds great but more impressively they recently listed some of their printed homes for sale starting around $275,000 which is a moderate price in Eloy, Az where the median home price is $255,000.

They have a wide range available, it’s pretty cool to see this many printed homes flying under the radar. You can check them out for yourself here.

The Diamond Age CTO is an ex-Tesla employee who has a penchant for automated manufacturing. I was lucky enough to get him on my podcast and discuss some of their vision. The approach they are taking towards automation fantastic because they are trying to automate a huge chunk of the work vs some other groups which just print walls. Hopefully as the industry progresses we continue to see teams increasing the automation on their job sites and a larger percent of the labor is completed by machines instead of human labor.

If you are curious what the machine is supposed to look like here is a shorter youtube video I put together from the limited footage Diamond Age has shared online of their construction automation intentions.

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Texas Startup Prints Regular Concrete

Andrey Rudenko is back! The same man who brought you the famous 3D printed castle pictured below has teamed up with Timothy Lankau, CEO of Hive 3D in Texas to print a residential structure utilizing standard portland cement from the local store.

The ability to use a standard cement mix without having to ship in expensive experimental materials often from overseas unlocked huge savings in comparison to the $600-1200 a ton some groups pay to get material to use all said and done after shipping.

The machine they used has a smaller layer height than some of the other printers we have seen used to construct homes from 3d printed mortar. This allows them to get really intricate designs in the wall which you can see in the thumbnail image of the video below.

Not only did I get to tour their 3,150 sqft 3d printed house in Texas right after it was printed, I also got to sit down with the hive CEO and CTO in my podcast studio over a few Stellas to discuss what got them interested in 3d printed construction, how they met Andrey, and how they plan on revolutionizing the construction industry in the future. Have a listen for yourself below!

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Emergent 3D Printed First Home in CA, How Much Did It Cost?

Everyone knows California is one of the most challenging markets for construction. The rules are strict, taxes are high and everything is wildly expensive. A quick google search will tell you the average construction cost in CA is $400-$600 a sqft in 2022 (modular coming in at $200-$300).

3D printed construction startup Emergent 3D was recently the first to print a permitted building in California. They used a Cobod printer and unlike some other groups without construction experience they are a spin-off from a General Contracting company Don Ajamian runs. Matthew Gile is the founder of Emergent and Don Ajaimian is the CEO, I had them both on my podcast. If you have a listen, note the link to part 2 in the description.

(this is a long article it continues below the video)

I also got to witness the first print day on their second building under construction. They were extremely transparent and had no issues with me filming any part of the project which is highly appreciated! When it comes to innovation, things aren’t always pretty. Part of new technologies is working out the bugs and quirks, 3DCP is certainly not immune to these technological & mechanical hiccups. Emergent handled everything very smoothly, the groups you need to worry about are the ones that are too afraid to let you watch a print!

Let’s talk about the price of a 3D printed house. How much does it really cost to 3D print a home? That answer is going to vary wildly in different regions because that is the nature of construction. You will also find many groups who bend the truth or only share the parts which are convenient (also often the nature of construction).

I believe Don Ajamian is among the few accurately reporting on their cost to 3D print buildings in California. This can be credited to his construction experience and integrity. In a linkedin post linked below Don says Quote-“When I recently mentioned to someone that the cost to build their home would be around $350/SF, their response surprised me and once again revealed the major confusion, misinformation, and variability in this discussion. The response I received was that they heard that they can get their home built for ‘$40 to $60 per square foot’. When I pressed them on this number, they insisted that this information was correct.
Needless to say, I won’t be building their home, but I am equally confident that their 1,200 square foot house will ultimately cost them far more than $72,000.”-End Quote.

So whats with the discrepancy? Later in the post Don mentions the following Quote-“What about scope? When a contractor quotes a cost per square foot, are they including the cost of the plans? Permits? Landscaping? Fencing? Appliances? These items alone can add $60/SF or more to the cost of building the house, but these items aren’t always included in the “off-the-cuff” cost per square foot conversation.”-End Quote.

2021 and 2022 marked a time when people conducted very little due diligence in many areas. This is evident in cases like the FTX scandal or even the housing market where some buyers who paid over ask are now underwater on loans. Let’s keep 3DCP off that list by fostering truthfulness and giving credit where credit is due for the groups that don’t use deceptive tactics to mask the realities of the industry. How can you make sure you don’t get fooled? I hope this article can help, if you watch the print day you will see how they overcame issues in full transparency. If you listen to the podcast you will hear about how Matthew and Don built Emergent 3D from the ground up, and if you read the Linkedin post from Don at the link you will understand more closely the true cost of 3D printed construction in California.

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Icon Beginning Largest 3DCP Housing Community With Lennar

Icon and Lennar just announced they are moving forward with the largest community of 3D printed homes on the planet! The homes in Georgetown north of Austin, Tx will start around $400k.

Unlike Icons other homes these feature substantial interior printed walls. Each one will range from 1,574 to 2,112 sqft.

I am in touch with Icons PR team and hope to get some on the ground coverage of these projects soon. Check out how many printers they have in action! I count 5 in that picture alone. For years we have speculated on how economies of scale will change the 3DCP process and soon Icon will have the answer!

It’s great to see innovative companies still implementing construction technologies through a downturn in real estate and increasing mortgage rates in the USA. As the construction industry becomes more competitive, the race of innovation is on to create a solution which simultaneously solves housing availability and labor force challenges.

Want to learn more about 3D printed construction? Check out my podcast including an episode with Icon CEO Jason Ballard.

Search the “Automate Construction Podcast” on any platform or watch the interview footage on the Automate Construction Podcast Youtube Channel:

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How long does it take to 3D print a house?

General Construction Stats & Sources

9/10 cost overrun

Over 3 years only 10% came within 10% of budget

Large projects 20% longer to finish, Mckinsey study shows construction productivity declining since the 90’s

Poor communication leads to 1/3rd issues

Productivity changes could save 1.63 trillion/ year



Habitat virginia 1

Habitat virginia 2

Habitat virginia 3

Handover ceremony

Virginia alquist done print

Virginia alquist roof

Virginia alquist 3

SQ4D Post Print Complete

3D Printed Concrete Recipe

Written by Howard Stone

We have now seen many 3D architectural printing projects and one thing that many of them have in common is the cement based mix they print with.
There are many materials that can be used in 3D printing but Portland cement is an easily engineered common product available world wide.

So, just for a quick rewind, what is Cement and where did it come from and what is its future in the world of 3D printing.

Joseph Aspdin of Leeds England developed the first Cement mix in the early eighteen hundreds by burning powdered limestone and clay in his kitchen stove. He called it Portland Cement because it resembled the building stone from the nearby Isle of Portland.

Joseph found that limestone, which contained alumina and silica, when mixed with clay, baked and crushed, formed a powder so fine it could pass through a sieve that could hold water.

Today’s Portland Cement dust is so fine that 1 pound contains around 150 billion grains, and that according to the US Geological Survey, in 2020, globally, over 4 trillion metric tons of cement were produced.
That is 600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains, more or less…

Although the terms cement and concrete are often used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is usually a mixture of cement, aggregates and water.

Aggregates are very important to the mix and although they are most commonly inert fillers such as sand and rock, the different properties of aggregates have a large impact on the strength, durability, workability, and economy of concrete; and it’s those different properties of that allow mix designers the flexibility to meet a wide range of construction requirements.

There are many reasons to use aggregates but perhaps the biggest reason is cost. The cost of cement is usually seven or eight times more than sand or stone and while cement is always necessary, the strength is determined by the use of aggregates which make up to 70-85% of the mass of concrete.

‘Aggregate’ refers to any particulate material. This includes gravel, crushed stone, sand, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic products and many others. Aggregates also help control thermal and elastic properties, dimensional stability and volume stability, manage shrinkage levels and help to prevent cracking.

Aggregates can be natural, manufactured or recycled materials.
General construction aggregates generally fall into two categories.
Fine aggregates consist of particles that can pass through a 3/8-inch, or about a 10mm sieve. Coarse aggregates are particles larger than 0.19 inch, but generally range between 3/8 and 1.5 inches or 40mm. in size.
Silica fume, for instance, also known as microsilica, is an ultrafine aggregate and consists of spherical particles with an average particle diameter of 150 nm. Zeolite, pumice, crushed quartz powder and fly ash can be made into such very small particles. By comparison, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick and red blood cells are about 10,000 nanometers across.

The Hard Facts…
What does M -20 M -15 M -20 mean with respect to concrete?
The ‘M’ describes the mix design while the strength digits represent compressive strength in N/mm2. ( 1 N/mm2 = 1 MPA = 1000 kPa )
The ratio of cement / sand / aggregate = strength.
M10 Grade of Concrete with a ratio of 1:3:6 = 10 MPa or 1450 psi
M15 Grade of Concrete with a ratio of 1:2:4 = 15 MPa or 2175 psi
M20 Grade of Concrete with a ratio of 1:1.5:3 = 20 MPa or 2900 psi

M5, M10, and M15 grades of concrete are generally used as bedding concrete below columns and as footings.
M20 through M35 grade concrete is generally used in the construction of slabs, beams, columns, footings, etc.

M40, and M45, are used for the construction of commercial structures, pre-stressed concrete members, runways, concrete roads, it is also used for pressured concrete girders, columns, and beams.

Superplasticisers are commonly used to improve the workability and to enhance the compaction of concrete for increased density and will improve the surface finish of most any concrete product. Also known as high range water reducers, plastersizers enable the production of concrete with approximately 15% – 30% less water content.

On a Lighter note…
Aerated concrete is made by introducing air into a cement slurry so that a cellular structure is formed. While aerated or foam concrete do not have the strength of regular concrete, they do have the beneficial properties of heat preservation, heat insulation, and sound absorption. Though they are called concrete, they are not a true concrete by definition.

Foam concrete as opposed to aerated concrete has a uniform closed-cell structure which allows for more predictable engineering outcomes.
Usually it is prepared by introducing foaming agents such as hydrogen peroxide and plant surfactants similar to those found in many common dishwashing detergents. Foamed concrete is free-flowing and can be placed without vibration or compaction. It is lightweight, has low thermal conductivity and good sound insulation properties which are not available in ordinary concrete. Depending on its density, up to 80% of the volume of a typical aerated/foamed block is air. The low density also makes for lower structural compression strength which is on average about half of the compressive strength of regular concrete or, 8N/mm2 / 8000 kpa / 1,200 psi.

Foam stabilizers help maintain density, thermal conductivity, flexural and compressive strength compared to a foamed mix without stabilizer due to an improvement of pore structure.
Foam stabilizer is generally made with calcium stearate and alum. Preparation is simple, performance is excellent and it is friendly to the environment.

Looking to the Future:

Contemporary architecture is moving on from the box and has embraced the curve which gives many modern structures their sleek and futuristic appearance. This is largely thanks to the integration of innovative 3D design and cutting-edge 3D production methods.

With more advanced technologies, it is possible to create more complex geometries without compromising quality and performance. 3D printing in construction shows great promise, being able to create practically any curved shape through computer controlled processes.

Curved forms are fluidic, which allow them to blend into natural landscapes. Some of the most striking designs in contemporary architecture that utilize 3D technologies to bring these modern designs to life. But even before there was computer-aided design, CNC manufacturing and 3D printing, the curved form could be found throughout architectural history. From the dawn of time to the information age, many cultures have developed curved architecture, because of the strength and flexibility it offered. In random fact, testing by SPS found loads as high as +300 lbs can be pressed upon standard, large eggs because their form evenly dissipates pressure.

Arches, Domes and Innovation
Early examples of the curved form include structures of historical significance like the Marcello theater built in 13 BC, the Pantheon and the Roman Colosseum. Developing the arch into a dome was perhaps the greatest achievement for the renaissance builders and the first major structure was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi for the Florence Cathedral. Using modern mathematics and physics, and with no scaffolding, he constructed a beautiful dome with four million bricks that still stand to this day.

3D printing has a large part to play in our future with the integration of unibody type construction in which walls and roof are manufactured as one. While roof on frame used to be the go-to construction of choice, unibody constructs are gaining ground and will no doubt be more prevalent in the future.

Alexey Ostanin СЕО of the Company Printed Dome which is one of the early producers of 3D printed structures has recently teamed up with Howard Stone of the 3DOHM to produce affordable cyclone resistant homes throughout the pacific. Foamed concrete will play a significant role in this mass 3D printing project because of the economy, existent engineering and the basic materials that make up foamed concrete which are commonly available worldwide. This largely humanitarian project promises to be significant for Pasifika Peoples of those island nations most strongly affected by climate change.

Open Source Printing Recipe – Cement 20% ~ 35%; Mineral admixture 18% ~ 35%; Fiber 0.08% ~ 2.8%; Fine aggregate 15% ~ 40%; Foaming agent 0.2% ~ 1.0%; Foam stabilizer 0.15% ~ 2.0%; Superplasticizer 0.05% ~ 0.15%; Temperature control shrinkage reducing agent 1.5% ~ 3.5%

50 3D Printed Houses & Buildings

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Printed house per dayHouse NameLocationPrinterOperatorVideo
1Africa t3 HouseAngolaCobodPower 2 Build
2House ZeroaustinICON
4Project Milestonethe NetherlandsWeber beamix
5First 2 Story house in indiaIndiaL&T
6Demo HousepatchogueSQ4D
7SXSW 2018 HouseaustinICON
8holstbroDenmarkCobod3DCP Group
9printed roofChinaAICT
10first printed houseitalyD-ShapeEnrico Dini
11most innovativeBeckum GermanyCobodPeri
12protodomnaturaeco corp
13Laundry RoomBoca ChicaApis Cor
14Alquist first houseRichmondcobodalquist
15winsun villa 2shanghaiWinsun
16winsun mansionshanghaiWinsun
17Turi, YogyajartaindonesiaAutoconz
18winsun villa 3shanghaiwinsun
19Emerging Objects Mud hutcoloradoEmerging Object
20winsun workforce housingshanghaiwinsunwinsun
21Icon east 17thAustinIconIcon
22habitat williamsburgwillaimsburgcobodalquist
23winsun smooth hutshanghai
24meet villaSharjah
25Guard HouseLa HavreCybe
26Printed Domerussiaprinted dome
27Floating HousepragueScoolpt
28Serendix SphereJapanSerendix
29HISIS HouseSouth KoreaHISIS/ BB
30CastleAmericaAndey Rudenko
31Demo unitUtahMudbots
32Yellow HouseRussiaApis Cor
33InnovaHouse+ 3D Home ConstructionBrazilInnovaHouse+ 3D Home Construction
342/4 east 17thaustinICON
35Aizawa GlampingJapanCybe
36thnking huts schoolMadagascarcobod14 trees
37schoolMalawiCobod14 trees
38Winsun Villa 4Shanghai
39Arup CLS ArchettiMilanCybe
40Project YhnovaFranceU Nantes
41AMT HouseRussiaAMTCobod
42Largest Printed Building AfricaAngolaPower 2 Build
43Cat HeadRussiaCat Head
44Beijing HomeBeijing
45New StoryMexicoIcon
46Mars HouseChinaGuanli
47Project GaiaItallyWasp
48Demo UnitSwedenConcrete Print
49Dior Pop UpDubaiWasp
50Tallest Printed BuildingQatarSaint Gobain Weber Beamix


Written By Uyanwune, Ordinakachukwu

ABSTRACT – 3D printed buildings is the future the construction industry. The
current world population is about 8.0 billion as of 2022 according to the most
recent United Nations estimates . More people means more housing. 3D printed building is here as a potential problem solver, it is cost-effectiveness (cheaper construction), faster Construction, higher material efficiency, reduced Labor and reduces waste and carbon dioxide emissions, among other benefits one of its biggest is it saves time. 3D printed buildings is already an ongoing project in different parts of the world, it’s being used in Austin, Texas to house homeless people, to build an entire community in Mexico, in Netherland and in India, in Malawi ,in Angola and many other countries.


In 2021, the world’s first 3D printed school was built Salima district of Malawi in
Africa. This project was carried out by a company called 14Trees. 14Trees is a
joint venture between Holcim and CDC Group which is focused on building
affordable houses, schools and social infrastructures in Africa. 14Trees benefits
from the expertise of Holcim’s R&D Centre, the world’s leading building materials research Centre, to accelerate the use of environmentally friendly solutions such as Holcim earth brick Durabric and 3D printing. They were able to print the walls of the school in 18 hours. This followed its first 3D-printed prototype house in Lilongwe, Malawi – built with precision in less than 12 hours, which significantly reduces the four days spent building a home with conventional building practices. The children officially began learning in the school in June, 2021. For these two projects the 14Trees used a BOD2 printer from Cobod. Cobod is owned by Henrik Lund-Nielsen a Danish business executive and serial-entrepreneur, they currently one of the top suppliers of 3D construction printers. COBOD’s robotic construction 3D printers have previously been deployed for several high-profile 3D printing projects, including the first 3D printed commercial apartment building in Germany, and the first “record-tall” 10-meter concrete wind turbine tower base alongside LafargeHolcim and GE Renewable Energy. 14Trees aims to accelerate the production and commercialization of environmentally-friendly, affordable construction solutions in Africa. They are partners with Habitat for humanity, LafargeHolcim, CDC investment works in attainment of their goal. They are all committed to build for the home and for the people. They have also moved this technology across the broader region with projects already in the pipeline in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Tenbite Ermias, Managing Director, Africa, at CDC said: “The rollout of 14Trees’ world-class, cutting-edge technology is going to have a massive developmental impact on Malawi and the other region of Africa. It is a wonderful example of how we are investing in businesses that can support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”


3d as the future is spreading throughout the earth, and rapidly moving to the four corners of Africa. Moving over to Madagascar, which is also one of the first
countries to imbibe this great discovery and move toward the advance of this

In Madagascar a Non-profit organization Thinking Huts has partnered with
architectural design agency Studio Mortazavi to create the world’s first 3D-printed school on the campus of a university in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.
This also shows us that this technology is not just creating better houses in lesser time , with fewer resources and no emission, but it’s also creating job opportunities and giving rise for new organizations. In Africa’s project it was overseen by a company called 14Trees but this is overseen by Thinking huts, and there primary
aim is to fix the problem of poor infrastructures in the educational sector, which many countries over look and in return it reduces the chances of children getting good education. Madagascar is the first country Thinking Huts has worked with in building a 3d printed school, the technology that was used was created Using technology developed by Finnish company Hyperion Robotics, As a nonprofit organization focused on their goal, the company decided to teach some citizens of Madagascar how to build infrastructures using a 3d printer, As it was recorded the school was built in just three weeks and the other structures needed for the completion of the building were all said to have been locally provided, example A roof made from galvanised metal covered with native grass will help the buildings blend into their surroundings.


As it was earlier stated, this advanced technology is moving rapidly across Africa, now 3D printing has reached western North Africa. Morocco builts its first 3D building as a show piece in the first edition of the “Solar Decathlon Africa”, an event that promotes the use of renewable energies in the manufacture of real estate in the city of Benguerir in Morocco. The company who used the 3d technology is called BE MORE 3D. This technology showcased ended up winning the company the prize for the most innovative startup, awarded by Green Africa Innovation Booster of IRESEN, the research institute of the Moroccan Ministry of Energy and

Materials Mixtures & Fibers in Printed Concrete

3D concrete printing is an additive manufacturing technology that is attracting attention from the construction sector for its potential to increase productivity and product quality. In Indonesia, 3D concrete printing technology is uncommon in construction activities, in contrast to the developed countries. The main challenge with using 3D concrete printing technology is determining the composition of material mixtures that have good extrudability but still maintain sufficient strength.

(The following summary of the scientific paper linked below was generated with my guidance by an AI software. Reach out to me if you feel strongly about it in a positive or negative way.)

A previous study conducted by Antoni et al. experienced several problems, such as unsatisfactory extrusion process and cracks in the 3D printed material. In this study, the cement-to-sand ratio was reduced to reduce the cost of the material. Synthetic microfiber was used to reduce crack problems. The study aimed to investigate the effect of the cement-to-sand ratio, maximum particle size of sand, and addition of synthetic microfiber on fresh and hardened concrete properties including workability, initial setting time, extrudability, and compressive strength. The materials used were silica sand, calcium oxide (CaO), Portland cement, synthetic micro-fiber, admixtures such as accelerators and superplasticizers. Mix designs are shown in Table 1. The mixture with a higher cement-to-sand ratio had greater compressive strength and smaller flow diameter because of higher fresh mixture compaction and viscosity. However, an increase in the cement-to-sand ratio caused concrete to have slightly faster initial setting time. Using sand with smaller particle size resulted in faster initial setting time; however particle size did not affect compressive strength or workability of mixtures investigated in this study according to their findings .

Addition of synthetic microfibers accelerated initial setting time , reduced workability of mixture ,and decreased compressive strength of concrete by 5 percent compared to mixture without microfibers . Extruded concrete showed significant strength reduction compared to compacted cube specimen without compaction due lower density caused by trapped air voids . There was also an effect noted in the load direction on compressive strength of extruded concrete depending on bond between each layer ,extrusion pressure from subsequent layer ,and setting time fo mixture which all play a role controlling compressive strength . All mixtures selected met requirement for setting time and workabilty for 3D concrete printing process . Only some mixtures achieved desired properties for extrusion process; however depending machine setup and nozzle size ,mixture needs to be readjusted to have required workability.

Please reference or cite facts from the original study linked below, don’t cite facts directly from this AI generated summary.

Original Scientific Paper

How to 3D Print a House

3D Printed Construction has taken the world by storm time and time again, it seems each time a new project launches the world gets even more excited as this technology starts to bring the initial promises of cheap/ fast construction closer to reality at scale. 

In my journeys around the world and of course nearly every state in the USA I have witnessed printing from all kinds of machines. It is incredible to see how many changes are being made to the print strategies they have over short periods of time. I am constantly inspired to continue digging deeper and learning more about automated construction as the issues which inspired me to pursue this in the first place worsen at an increasing pace. Housing costs, construction labor costs, these don’t seem to be temporary issues that are going away. I have been fortunate enough not only to watch these printers live on many occasions but also operate one taking lead on a print. 

On my travels I have in fact seen more 3D printed homes than printers and I make sure to visit them multiple times throughout the construction process so I can see the things that will potentially be hidden by the time the home is complete. To understand 3D printed construction on a beginner level you need to have a grasp on the following things:

3D Concrete Printing 


Printer Operation




Business Models 

Course of Action


I have built a course “How to 3D Print a House for Beginners” which overviews each of the sections above in 200 minutes of video lectures. There are so many printers out there but the course is designed to be a blanket overview for all of them that gives a general picture of the equipment you are likely to find at every job site. Each company is unique is some way so there are variances from the course but the point is to give a firm baseline understanding. 

I see this course platform developing into something that has tremendous group utility as course alumni pursue careers and startups in the 3D printed construction industry. As the small tribe of course members grows I have a roadmap for how I will build out more infrastructure on the website to accommodate the growing group. 

# of GraduatesMilestone
1Wow thank you so much let this be the start of something great for both of us!
5Add Short Quiz at Each Section
10Create Alumni Network Group Chat (Choose chat platform among ourselves)
25New Section “Choose a Material Provider / DIY Material”
50New Section “Choose a Printer”
100Digital Conference Free for Course Members on 3D Printed Construction
2003D Printed Construction Book Release
300One lucky course member gets free vacation night in a 3D printed house
500Create Alumni Network Job Board

The beta version 1.0 was launched yesterday and I have already made some small bug fixes and video updates. I guess you could say we are now on version 1.1, I intentionally set the price far below competing courses for the beta program but once I am sure it runs smoothly the price will increase sharply. By having the patience to be a part of the beta you save money for the same permanent course access that people will be paying double for in the future. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the course members who have reached out to let me know suggestions they have for improvements.