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posted by LaminatorX on Monday September 01 2014, @12:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the tiny-castles-movement dept.

Spotted over at

In Minnesota, contractor Andrey Rudenko is currently working on a project of gargantuan proportions that seems to be stretching and exploring the limits of 3D printing technology. Using a printer that was substantially modified and expanded, he has printed a concrete castle in his own backyard. And at 3 by 5 meters, this concrete structure is the world's first 3D printed concrete castle, and one of the largest objects that has, up till now, ever printed with 3D printing technology.

Also 3dprint has more details on the capabilities of the printer and some additional information from Andrey.

Go to Andrey's homepage for more pictures of the castle construction, news links and printer details.

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  • (Score: 1) by nishi.b on Monday September 01 2014, @12:44PM

    by nishi.b (4243) on Monday September 01 2014, @12:44PM (#88075)
    Interesting project, but I have already read about some [] companies [] building houses using 3D printers.
    The use of concrete is interesting, but I have no idea how resistant multiple layers of concrete (without a metal structure inside) are.
  • (Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Monday September 01 2014, @02:09PM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 01 2014, @02:09PM (#88094) Journal

    Agreed, all solid concrete structures require an internal metal framework for strength.

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday September 01 2014, @02:12PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 01 2014, @02:12PM (#88095)

    "(without a metal structure inside)"

    This is getting to be an old story having been hashed out on other sites days ago, and WRT this topic, the castle does in fact have rebar stakes tossed in and grouted into place during construction, just no pix of that part of the task. So its printed, plus some material handling.

    "The use of concrete"

    And a close second topic is this isn't concrete its cement. No gravel. Plenty of commentary by the maker about clogging and presumably the first thing you do when the nozzle clogs is stop using concrete and switch to cement. Its more like brick mortar than concrete.

    You'll also note the complete lack of a roof. Prestressed works pretty well for roofs, but no one has 3-d printed prestressed, so far. I would imagine the substantial jigs and hydraulic gear would be considered "cheating". Cement/concrete having basically zero tensile and shear strength, you "hack" the material by stretching the rebar inside it while it's liquid and then when you let go after the stuff hardens its under permanent compression strength under any normal load, and cement has decent compression strength. Obviously if you sqoosh it 50% of the way to failure, you've now lost 50% of its total strength, there's no free lunch.

    And the third topic hashed out is a shipping crate isn't a house or a castle, and neither is a set of concrete walls. All the money and time in construction goes into the stuff in the walls, like electric, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, windows, doors, interior and exterior finishes, the actual cost of a shell is VERY cheap. Go to home depot and price out the largest tool / garden sheds and you can see that you can assemble a wood house for perhaps as little as $5K to $10K. So printing some concrete walls that do nothing but be walls isn't much of a money saver. Of course if you were building a cement retaining wall or a dam for a river, this might actually work.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday September 01 2014, @06:49PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 01 2014, @06:49PM (#88158) Journal

      rebar stakes tossed in and grouted into place during construction,

      Come on VLM, I'm sure you've been around long enough to know about the actual purpose or proper utilization of rebar?
      Tossing random rebar in adds nothing but fault planes to the concrete.
      Here's some clues [] if you are laboring under the misconception that just tossing them in is acceptable.

      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday September 01 2014, @06:57PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 01 2014, @06:57PM (#88161)

        Well, yeah, I was exaggerating a bit WRT they're installed by hand not magically 3-d printed.

        If you have to do a substantial amount of hand work or rework you're better off not 3-d printing and just doing it by hand, especially if precision is unneeded at that stage. I would imagine the castle walls would get rebar work done by hand and then stucco applied to the surfaces by hand, and by that point you're better off going ICF (by hand) and pouring (by hand) to save the cost of the robot.