08.04.2021 - Startups, Technology

RTU and "Sakret" establish the first 3D concrete printing lab

Riga Technical University (RTU) and the largest producer of dry and ready-to-use construction mixtures in the Baltic region SIA “Sakret” establishes a scientific laboratory for 3D concrete printing, laying the foundations for the use of innovative technologies in the construction field in the Baltics. The laboratory will provide knowledge and infrastructure for students, scientists, start-ups and various construction-related industries.

3D concrete printing is an innovative direction of scientific and technological development that is developing rapidly worldwide. Technology is sustainable, ensures the efficient use of human resources and materials, and offers almost endless possibilities in terms of freedom of shape, size and structure to the architectural and construction industries.

The laboratory was established to develop innovative ways of manufacturing concrete structures.  RTU scientists made the 3D concrete printer with the support of RTU Design Factory engineers.

"Currently, there is no one in the Baltics who has the infrastructure and knowledge of all stages of 3D concrete printing - dry material production, printer, printer head and feed equipment, modelling and software, material properties, testing in the fresh and hardened state, construction design, regulations and legislation, ” says Māris Šinka, a leading researcher at the RTU Faculty of Civil Engineering.

The aim is to create a knowledge and technological base, allowing researchers to make scientific projects and industry to develop new products.

"It is common for construction to be one of the industries where centuries-tested materials and technologies are widely used. While looking for opportunities to build in a way that is more environmentally friendly, sustainable and economically advantageous, various innovations are entering construction more and more rapidly, ”says Andris Vanags, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sakret Holdings.

By starting cooperation with RTU 3D laboratory, the goal of “Sakret” is to promote faster entry of modern materials into the Latvian construction industry, which will increase the international competitiveness of Latvian construction material producers and builders.

The laboratory will print concrete mass, develop prototypes for 3D printing of objects or construction details, research and test innovative materials, test printed objects. Research conducted in the laboratory could become the basis for the standard development so that 3D technologies can be used for the construction of various buildings not only in Latvia but also in Europe. It will become an open-access science platform for 3D concrete and other building materials printing. The laboratory will be available to students and researchers, as well as to various companies and start-ups for knowledge commercialization.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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