3D printers set to disrupt building sector

Australia’s construction industry may be in for a shake-up, with the arrival of commercial 3D house-printing technology capable of slashing build times and costs.

On the heels of the country’s first 3D-printed house – erected in three days Melbourne in January – COBOD, an international leader in the disruptive field, has partnered with Australian company Fortex to distribute its equipment.

With a promise to build homes more efficiently and with less harm to the environment, the Danish innovator has spied an opportunity to leverage current worker and material shortages.

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“We are talking about smarter, better, faster building,” according to Fortex CEO David Lederer.

“That means improved outcomes for building companies and consumers.”

The first BOD2 3D construction printer will arrive in Australia later this year and be available for immediate order.

COBOD has spearheaded the development of 3D house-printing, having sold about 50 systems featuring multifunctional construction robots across the globe since 2019.

They were used to help build the first single-, two- and three-storey 3D-printed dwellings in Europe, the first 3D-printed house and school in Africa, and first wind turbine tower base.

COBOD counts leading companies such as General Electric and German scaffolding group PERI among its shareholders. It has also set up Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

The company boasts its technology will carve months off traditional time frames, streamline labor and alleviated supply issues.

Its printer’s modular design is developed to fit most projects and uses innovative technology to control the extrusion of concrete. The fully automated process happens mostly onsite.

COBOD’s arrival coincides with a crisis in regional Australia as homes become increasingly scarce and more expensive.

Dubbo Council in central western NSW has resolved to set aside up to four residential blocks to enable a trial of 3D-printed stock subject to regulatory guidelines.

CEO Murray Wood will report back on its feasibility in September.

Meanwhile, the company which constructed Australia’s first 3D home in Melbourne, Luyten, has begun taking orders from regional areas seeking affordable housing, school and accommodation solutions.

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Peter Fray

Peter Fray

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