The first 3D concrete printing laboratory in the Baltics is established

Riga Technical University (RTU) in partnership with the manufacturer of construction mixtures SIA “Sakret” has established a scientific laboratory for 3D concrete printing.
The laboratory will provide knowledge and infrastructure to students, researchers, start-ups and various construction-related industries.

Vaivare pointed out that 3D concrete printing is an innovative direction of scientific and technological development that is developing rapidly all over the world. Technology is sustainable, ensures the efficient use of human resources and materials, and offers the architectural and construction industries almost endless possibilities in terms of freedom of shape, size and structure. The 3D concrete printer was made by RTU scientists with the support of RTU Design Factory engineers.

The head of the scientific laboratory, the leading researcher of RTU Faculty of Civil Engineering, Māris ŠinkaŠinka, said that the laboratory was created to develop innovative ways for the production of concrete structures. He emphasized that 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, modeling and software, material properties and testing in fresh and hardened state, structural design, regulations and legislation.

The laboratory will be able to print concrete mass, develop prototypes for 3D printing of objects or structural details, research and test innovative materials, test printed objects. The research carried out in the laboratory could become the basis for the development of standards so that 3D technologies can be used for the construction of various buildings not only in Latvia, but also in Europe.

It is planned to become an open access science platform for printing 3D concrete and other building materials. It will be available to students and researchers, as well as to various companies and start-ups for the commercialization of knowledge.