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Construction Innovation Forum: sharing initiatives with industry leaders

Published 19.6.2024

Techint Engineering & Construction and Cemex presented studies on 3D concrete printing for structural use.


During the 2024 Construction Innovation Forum, organized by the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (CMIC) Mexico City Delegation, José Daniel Castillo Gaxiola, General Manager of Urban Solutions at Construhub CEMEX, and the Innovation Team from Techint Engineering & Construction delivered a presentation on the “3D Concrete Case Study.”

Techint E&C began exploring 3D concrete printing in 2020. At that time, they recognized that while this material was commonly used for ornamental or architectural purposes, there was a significant opportunity for its structural use in Mexico.

Several challenges emerged during the process, such as the lack of local suppliers and the absence of regulations governing this type of application. This highlighted that in Mexico innovative projects sometimes progress faster than the regulatory frameworks needed to implement them.


Strategic collaboration

The case study presented was developed in collaboration with Cemex's Innovation and Development Center. This strategic alliance with the Mexican multinational began in the second half of 2023.

“One of the initial issues we faced was the absence of standards to validate the use of mortar for 3D printing. Therefore, we approached CMIC for guidance. They facilitated our contact with personnel from the UNAM Institute of Engineering, who informed us about the initiative Cemex was promoting for a supplementary technical standard in Mexico City,” explains Pamela Hernández, Project QHSE Manager.

This marked the beginning of a strategic collaboration with Cemex’s Innovation and Development Center, which Hernández describes as “a mutually beneficial partnership.” “Cemex is a recognized leader in Mexico; they are dedicated to selling concrete, have the 3D printer, and have spent over three years designing a 3D concrete mix. Meanwhile, we have the resources to develop the engineering and logistics and plan to implement it in one of our construction projects. Both companies are learning about this new application for industrial construction,”she says.

Currently, the Techint E&C team is negotiating with one of their clients to approve the use of 3D concrete in their project, which would be the first case in Mexico where this product is applied structurally.

“Our relationship with Cemex has been highly collaborative, and we are on a learning curve together. This partnership demonstrates that when it comes to innovation, it’s advantageous to seek out expert strategic partners, and in Mexico, Cemex is the expert in the cement and concrete market. We understand that the better alliances we form, the more innovations we can continue to implement,” concludes Hernández.

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