Opening of the first concrete 3D printing course in Ireland
Education officials in Ireland, where the use of 3D printing on concrete is currently limited, hope a new training course on 3D printing on concrete will help address the need to build more affordable homes , at a faster rate. The course is the first of its kind in the country and is run by the Louth and Meath Education Training Board (LMETB).
LMETB said it has identified the need for training in this area and hopes the new 3D concrete printing course will contribute positively to Ireland’s current need for new housing. “The technology is there but the training hasn’t been delivered by anyone,” said Martin O’Brien, chief executive of the Louth Meath Education Training Board.
“We saw opportunity and potential in this technology to deliver cheaper, faster and more efficient homes,” he continued. “We provide training for architects, technicians, designers and builders so that they can become familiar with the technology.
Other countries, including the United States and the Netherlands, are already building properties with 3D printers.
“Work and productivity are the main drivers of this technology. We see it really making a difference in social housing, but also delivering at a fast pace,” said LMETB trainer Marchant van den Heever.
“We are seeing global adoption of this technology. German regulations have been issued there. The United Arab Emirates are showing a lot of interest as well as the United States,” continued Marchant van den Heever. “Obviously it depends on the size of the house, but we’re moving at 1,500 square meters per hour, so you can do a three-bedroom house in less than a week.”
“In some areas of the construction industry, it will be a no-brainer,” said former carpenter and now trainer Martin McGowan, who believes 3D printing on concrete is the way of the future. “What we are seeing is practical and more cost effective and with each month, with more research and development, it will only accelerate.”
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said he welcomed new approaches and innovations in the construction industry “that cut costs and speed up delivery, while maintaining high standards”.
Darragh O’Brien highlighted the Housing for All housing plan which commits the government to boosting innovation and productivity to reduce residential construction costs, adding that a new National Building Technology Center will support these new advances technologies.