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3D printing in reinforced concrete: phase one complete!

Published 7.3.2022

Techint Engineering & Construction traveled to Finland to take part in the completion of the first stage of the 3D printing pilot project with Hyperion, a Finnish startup well known for its work in the field. The next step will be the application of this technology at a specific project in the company.

The 3D printing pilot project was presented in December at the last Innovation Day 2021 (IDAY), an event organized by Techint E&C to showcase a range of its top initiatives and an opportunity to catch up with the latest innovation news from other companies around the world. The project was set up in two stages, firstly the design and printing of prototypes in the laboratory, including testing to validate the technology, and secondly, the application of the technology at a real-life project, printing the parts on-site.

Gaston Schroh, project coordinator for Techint E&C, traveled to Finland to inspect the completion of the first stage: “All the prototypes planned were printed and they carried out resistance tests on samples as well as on full-scale prototypes. Now we’re just waiting for Hyperion’s final report and conclusions. This will be the basis for the second stage where we’ll be carrying out 3D printing of components in a precast workshop, at a company project site,” highlights Gastón.

For the coordinator, this experience was highly gratifying on several levels. Firstly, in professional terms, as 3D printing in reinforced concrete is an innovative technology which is trending worldwide. “One of the founders of Hyperion heads up the 3D Printing Department at Aalto University (Finland), and invited me to tour the university's facilities, where there are a huge number of printers working with all kinds of materials, from metal to glass—and even sugar!”

Gastón also had the enriching opportunity to get to know a little of Finland and its culture: “I was able to tour this fascinating country, enjoy its traditions and feel the extreme cold! I even visited the Arctic Circle where I saw the Northern Lights. And as I organized my travel around my vacation time, I also visited Switzerland and Estonia, making it a truly memorable trip."

For Techint E&C, this project will be quite a challenge, not only because this novel technology can provide multiple business benefits associated with time and cost savings and, crucially, promote sustainability, but also because it means shifting certain paradigms for both workers and customers. Another key aspect is that Techint E&C was able to work with a Finnish startup with awards for its work in the field of robotics and sustainability, and with experience in developing European standards for 3D printing.

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