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November 24, 2014

Skanska and Loughborough University to test 3D printing for construction

Sweden-based construction company Skanska and Loughborough University have signed a collaboration agreement to explore opportunities for 3D printing technology in the construction industry.

Skanska

Sweden-based construction company Skanska and Loughborough University have signed a collaboration agreement to explore opportunities for 3D printing technology in the construction industry.

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As part of the initial 18-month programme, a commercial concrete printing robot will be developed by laying down successive layers of concrete until the entire object is produced.

Skanska will collaborate with Foster and Partners, Buchan Concrete, ABB and Lafarge Tarmac for the project, with the aim of finding uses for the new technology and helping to develop a 3D printing supply chain.

"3D concrete printing…has the potential to reduce the time needed to create complex elements of buildings from weeks to hours."

Skanska director of innovation and business improvement Rob Francis said: "3D concrete printing, when combined with a type of mobile prefabrication centre, has the potential to reduce the time needed to create complex elements of buildings from weeks to hours.

"We expect to achieve a level of quality and efficiency, which has never been seen before in construction."

The agreement will allow Skanska to licence 3D concrete printing technology, which has been developed through research at Loughborough University, and apply it to real applications.

The technology can create items as complex as structural components, curved cladding panels and architectural features.

Following the agreement, Skanska will be in a position to capitalise on an emerging technology, which it believes has potential to revolutionise design and construction processes.


Image: (Left to right) Professor Simon Austin, Rob Francis, Professor Steve Rothberg and Dr Richard Buswell. Photo: courtesy of Loughborough University.

Related Companies

Free Report
img

Internet of Things set to transform the construction industry

The Internet of Things (IoT) is proving hugely beneficial to the construction industry, allowing different assets and people to be monitored and accounted for across a traditionally fragmented industry. As a result, companies that invest in IoT now promise to make long-term gains in the industry. According to GlobalData forecasts, spending on IoT in construction will reach $9.6bn by 2025. For an industry that has large sites to manage, strict project timelines, hazardous working conditions, and tight profit margins, IoT can create a manageable view of construction sites for project managers, streamline operations, and protect workers. In addition, it allows real-time data streams of assets, automates time-consuming tasks, and ensures employee safety and productivity. IoT integration with equipment manufacturing also has rich advantages for asset monitoring sensors. This, combined with artificial intelligence (AI) can help forecast materials and workers needed during the procurement stage and assist in forecast financing. Read GlobalData’s whitepaper to find out more, including information on:
  • IoT value chain
  • Market size and growth forecasts
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Leading IoT adopters in construction
  • Specialist IoT vendors in construction
Don’t get left behind – find out how IoT can fortify your operations and make investments now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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