What is the 3D Construction Printer?2022-02-14T14:27:29+01:00

3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) refers to an innovative technology that uses software to control the placement of materials in order to build a 3D object or structure without the need for a standard formwork. The most common placement process in 3DCP relies on extrusion of cement-based composites – whether this is a mortar with fine aggregates or concrete with large aggregates. 3DCP promises to enable the production of complex geometries in a fully-automated setup while delivering advantages such as material savings, greater efficiency in the production of complex concrete products, new architectural insights and design strategies.

What are the main differences between a robotic arm and a gantry based 3D construction printer?2022-02-14T14:31:41+01:00

A robotic arm is believed to be more suitable for “expert” operators (typically the robot supplier themselves) printing of single elements with high complexity and detail, while gantry printers are more suitable for printing a variety of prints and for printing much larger structures, such as entire buildings.

Which projects have been made with a COBOD 3D printer?2022-02-14T14:37:03+01:00

COBOD International A/S has customers located all around the world, and therefore it is possible to find many finished projects made with a COBOD 3D printer. The most recent projects include a pilot project in KampC (Belgium), a residential building located in the Beckum (Germany) and a School in Malawi (Africa).

What Printer suits my needs?2020-10-06T14:34:58+02:00

Each project may require a different size of printer. For this you need to keep in mind two measures before selecting the printer that fits you the best:

To read the size list correctly pay attention to PA and IA measurements. Each cell shows these measurements which are Width x Length x Height in meters. You can see the number of modules for length on the left side (rows) and the width modules on the top (columns), the height, in terms of no. of modules in the height, is marked red above the table. Meaning that each table/page has different number of height modules.

What options or upgrades do I need?2020-10-06T14:35:51+02:00

There are no hard requirements regarding the options or upgrades. Yet we recommend the following:

    • Tangential control (hardware & software) – enabling the print-head to always turn in the print direction. With tangential control square nozzles with flaps can be used to assure vertically more smooth surfaces.
    • Mixer pump/M-tec Duomix – including automated on/off, 20 meters hose for concrete, used for supplying materials to the printer.
    • Silo – min 3 m3 used for storing dry mortars/concrete materials
    • COBOD installation of the printer at customers location
    • COBOD Training (weekly price)
    • Setup & Maintenance kit – collection of tools to help setting up the printer, includes alignment laser and measure, different types of drill and wrenches to put the pieces together and more.
    • Printing kit – collection of tools to help with print jobs, includes tools such as spatulas, brushes, hammers, wrenches, print head stands and more.
Is it possible to add more modules later?2020-10-06T14:37:06+02:00

Yes, it is possible later on to add modules as the printers are modular, they can be upgraded at a later time. In addition to the new modules that have to be ordered, you will need an entire new and long enough set of cables (normal price around 20.000 euro). That means you can stay up-to-date with our technology.

How fast you can print or build a certain structure?2020-10-06T14:53:38+02:00
  • How fast you can print a certain structure depends on many factors, such as print/building size, material properties, operation workers’ experience and other project management factors. It is also important to know about the wall design (single wall or double wall with cavity between the walls).
  • The printer has a maximum speed of 100 cm/sec. The ability use more or less of the full speed depends on the size of the pump, the materials to be used and other factors. We are regularly printing with a speed of 40 or 50 cm/sec.
  • Smaller buildings less than 50m2 can be done in one day.

You are welcome to take a look one of our project’s information where we recorded how fast could we build copy of the BOD building in 2019:


Which projects have been made with COBOD printers?2020-10-06T14:34:35+02:00
  • You can visit our press page in the following link https://cobod.com/press/ , there you can see published projects and other activities which were publicized.
  • We also recommend you to visit our YouTube channel where you can take a look at what we do.
Can you provide the list of who uses your printers?2020-10-06T14:37:20+02:00

Yes, by request to info@cobod.com

Is it possible to build 2 story buildings?2020-10-06T14:37:38+02:00
Do you need any foundation for the printer?2020-10-06T14:13:40+02:00

Yes, the printer must be installed either on pre made concrete blocks / feet or can be mounted on existing concrete slab.

How to do maintenance for the printer and how often?2020-10-06T14:37:49+02:00
  • It is important to clean the printer (wash out the concrete) after each print, as well as the parts where machine interacts with concrete. Typical daily cleaning takes 20-30 minutes.
  • Maintenance and cleaning schedules are found in the user manual, which we provide to our customers. The manual is more than 50 pages long with all the necessary information and detailed descriptions.
What about mixer pumps and their maintenance?2020-10-06T14:38:00+02:00

Maintenance of mixer pumps are clarified in the Specific manual for the type of mixer/pump.

How long does it take to set up the printer?2020-10-06T14:38:11+02:00
  • It depends on how much experience you have in setting up the printer.
  • A well experienced team can setup the printer in less than 4 hours, and even less time when concrete feet are used for the installation.
  • Larger printers (more than 4-5 modules in length and width) require more time.
What is the shipping cost?2021-10-07T10:20:08+02:00

Due to current disruptions in global distribution networks we cannot provide a good, average estimate. Note that all of our offers are ex-works and it is our customers’ responsibility to handle logistics when purchasing a printer. However, we sometimes help to retrieve a quote for you and can connect you with one of our logistics partners.

Do you have examples of project cost overviews?2020-10-06T14:38:44+02:00
  • The cost will depend on the local cost of labor and concrete materials in your country.
  • Denmark is a high cost country but for the BOD building of 50 sqm the cost of materials for printing the curved concrete inner and outer walls was approximately 2,000 USD. Coming to 40 USD per sqm house for the concrete.

On the bottom of https://cobod.com/bod2/ page you can find a cost calculator helping you to determine the cost in your country of 3D construction wall printing.

What is included in printer costs?2020-10-06T14:38:54+02:00
  • Included in the printer cost is a complete printer with all the necessary parts to print:
    • The number of X/Y/Z modules for the specific size ordered
    • A fully assembled print head and 1 steel nozzle of 50x20mm
    • 2 network cameras to overview the extrusion of material
    • Power cable
    • External safety and control switch
  • After buying a printer we also provide a year of technical support, 5 years hotline support. Also, it comes with our software, which is updated free of charge, at least for the first 3 years.
  • You can print with the printers as is, as materials can be fed by buckets to the print-head. However, this will be a slow process. To print with speed you will need a pump and mixer, and preferably a silo for the materials storage, which you can acquire at us or elsewhere. If we supply it, we will assure they are delivered with the entire materials flow (from silo over the mixer to the pump and up to the printer) is digitally controlled, such that the feeding of the materials to the print-head is managed by the printer itself and does not require an operator to get involved.
What is the cost effectiveness using your printer?2020-10-06T14:53:27+02:00
  • The cost advantage mainly comes from the lower labor usage and the faster completion of the project, in addition to assuring fewer mistakes and need for coordination, as the printer takes care of many operations. The speed with which you can print and execute a project will depend on your previous experience. Hence, you will be much faster once you have done it a few times. Quite like it was when you learned how to drive or ride a bike for the first time.

  • If you take a 50m2 building for example, you can calculate it with much less time needed of labor and less labor force used for the project. You can use our reprint of the BOD building as a starting point.
Could we get a quote for the machines?2020-10-06T14:39:06+02:00
  • Use this link https://cobod.com/request-bod2-pricelist/ to get the price.
  • You can get a formal quote by writing to info@cobod.com. Remember to specify what you want the quote to include in terms of printer size, extra equipment (mixer/pump, silo, tangential control etc.) and services like installation and training.
What does it cost to print one square meter?2020-10-06T14:39:25+02:00

It is impossible for us to give a general amount as it depends on the wall design that you choose, local materials costs, cost of people who are overseeing the print, etc.

Do you have distributors in XYZ country?2020-10-06T14:40:03+02:00

Send us an email and we can inform you about our distributors.

Can you build a house for us?2020-10-06T14:40:16+02:00
  • We are not a construction company, therefore COBOD does not build houses, except when there is a need for testing or for other development purposes.
  • We can possibly get you in contact with a local client or distributor who can help if there are any in your country or area.
Do you have any project information?2020-10-06T14:40:30+02:00

We can share some project information on request to info@cobod.com

Specific purchase or selling terms2020-10-06T14:15:47+02:00

More information here and here.

What about rental?2020-10-06T14:41:23+02:00

Unfortunately, we do not offer rentals, but it could be that a local distributor, if there is any in your country, will do that.

What is the delivery time?2020-10-06T14:41:37+02:00

4 months.

What support do you give for the first project?2020-10-06T14:41:48+02:00

We provide support for our customers on their first project. After the purchase of the printer we provide technical support for a year and 5 years of hotline support.

How long does the training take?2022-02-17T13:16:34+01:00
  • As for customers, they can choose to buy one week of training where we come to your site after your purchase and show you how to mount the printer, show you our slicer and teach you how to prepare the models for slicing. Then we stay with you for 2-3 days and do test prints, so you get familiar with the machine. We have developed our own slicer for the printer.
  • One week of training is usually sufficient, but additional weeks of training can be acquired according to needs.
  • Once you buy our printer you gain access to our Virtual Academy containing our online training courses.
What about guarantees?2020-10-06T14:42:11+02:00

We offer a warranty of 1 year.

Do you also supply printing materials?2020-10-06T14:42:22+02:00

No, we do not. We are open source and we advise our customers to always source materials locally.

Does the material need to be vibrated?2020-10-06T14:42:33+02:00

Vibration of material can be used in some cases to keep the material from hardening in the system. Under normal conditions we do not vibrate the material.

What is the hardening time?2020-10-06T14:44:34+02:00
  • The hardening time is strongly dependent on weather conditions and your mix design.
  • We use the term “layer time” to define the time from a layer that has been placed and until a new layer is printed on top. This time can be set in the software and must be adjusted to the specific material used for your project.
  • At COBOD we have printed with layer times from 1-20 minutes.
Can additives be used?2020-10-06T14:44:44+02:00

Yes, additives can be used.

What kind of concrete or mortar did you use for the BOD building?2020-10-06T14:44:55+02:00
  • The concrete used for the BOD building consisted of:
    • 4-8 mm gravel
    • 0-8 mm crushed tiles (recycled)
    • 0-2 mm sand
    • Portland Cement
    • Super-plasticizer
    • PP crack stop fibers
  • You can get the specific recipe by writing to info@cobod.com
What other materials are used for the printer?2020-10-06T14:45:51+02:00

We usually print mortar or concrete, but there is no specific mix design/recipe which needs to be applied. We are open sourced. If materials are printable, they can be applied. Recipes will be made based on local available materials.

What is the cost of materials?2020-10-06T14:46:03+02:00

The cost of the materials depends on your local prices on concrete, aggregates, sand, and other chemicals like accelerators. This is depending on your concrete mix design that you want to apply for your projects.

Can you provide information about nozzles and printheads?2020-10-06T14:46:14+02:00
  • R&D nozzles can be 3D printed on normal desktop FFF 3D printers. They typically break after low to moderate use but are much cheaper for development than stainless steel.
  • Printing nozzles are typically made from stainless steel. Note that these nozzles are used for industrial/large scale printing and can be any size you desire. At COBOD we have currently printed with nozzle sizes from 30 mm – 500 mm, which covers most applications.
  • The print head that comes with the BOD2 is a general-purpose print head with sensors monitoring material level in the material hopper. This enables automatic control of the material supply pump.
  • Additionally, a tangential control nozzle can be purchased which enables rotational nozzle for printing with flaps and getting much better surface quality and straight walls with less need for plastering.
Can you extend the printing area by moving the printer?2020-10-06T14:46:25+02:00

Yes, the printer can be moved to cover larger print areas.

What is the optimal printing environment?2020-10-06T14:46:37+02:00
  • The printer can handle a lot of variance in the environment, and is safe to operate in rainy conditions, as all cables etc. are made according to the IP67 standards.
  • However, printing in rain is generally not recommended, as the rain will ruin the concrete extruded. Rain and high wind speeds can also break down the fresh printed concrete, so in regions where this type of weather is normal, some type of climate protection is recommended. It could be in the form of a tent or some simple cover.
Maximum printer width, length, and height measurements.2020-10-06T14:47:23+02:00

The maximum dimensions of the printer are 15 meters in width, 10 meters in height and unlimited in length. The biggest printer we have delivered had measurements of 12 x 27 x 10 meters (width x length x height).

What about inclined or overhang printing?2020-10-06T14:48:40+02:00
  • Inclined or overhangs (non vertical walls) can be accomplished with the BOD2. The degree that is possible to print is depending on material properties and geometry.
  • For very stable / self-supporting geometries, COBOD has managed to print up to 30 degrees overhangs (measured from vertical walls).
How to generate the print file to control the printer?2020-10-06T14:48:53+02:00
  • The print file is generated automatically in COBOD’s slicer “COBOD Slice”. This piece of software takes a STP or IGS file as input, which can be exported by any normal 3D CAD software used for making the building drawings. No programming is needed for making the print file. The slicer takes care of it automatically.
  • You choose your preferred settings for the print i.e. speed and height of the layers and COBOD Slice generates a printing file that can be executed by the BOD2 printer.
What is the lifetime of the printer?2020-10-06T14:49:04+02:00

The printer and related equipment have been designed, constructed and manufactured with a minimum expected lifetime of 5 years, but we expect the lifetime to be even longer.

How did you fill the inner space between the printed walls of the BOD?2020-10-06T14:49:16+02:00
  • If you choose to print hollow walls, the inside will usually be used for insulation. The insulation can be any type of granular insulation which can be poured or blowed into the cavities. We recommend using recycled insulation materials like paper wool or EPS or whatever is available locally for your region.
  • You can also use the inner part of the walls for structural elements like columns.
How is thermal insulation achieved?2020-10-06T14:50:14+02:00
  • Thermal insulation depends on two factors:
    • The thickness of the insulation i.e. the distance between your outer and inner wall
    • The Lambda value (insulating property) of your insulation material.
  • By combining these two factors you will get an R value, which needs to follow your local building code.
What is the construction process?2020-10-06T14:50:27+02:00
  • This topic is covered in detail during training when you receive your printer.
  • The process will vary from project to project, but a standard building will consist of:
    • Site preparations
    • Printer installation
    • Printing outline of slab / foundation
    • Casting slab / foundation
    • Printing walls for ground floor
    • Installing deck
    • Repeat for multi-story buildings
    • Closing the house (roof, windows, doors)
    • Finishing (paint, floors, electricity, HVAC)
Do you give support regarding building codes?2020-10-15T11:26:30+02:00

We do support to the extent it is possible, but due to hugely varying building codes in different countries you should always align your drawings and designs with a local structural engineer.

What about plumbing and electrical installation?2020-10-06T14:50:55+02:00

This will be done manually in traditional way, but the printer can help you with preparing for it.

Can you hang cupboard, etc. on walls?2020-10-06T14:51:05+02:00

Of course you can.

What about the wall finishing?2020-10-06T14:52:16+02:00

Wall finishes are completely up to you. Walls can be plastered and painted, or it can be painted directly on the printed surface. It is your decision how the finished walls should look.

How are repairs and maintenance for walls handled?2020-10-06T14:52:30+02:00

Maintenance and repairs of walls will be depending on which material you use, and what surface treatment has been used (paint, plaster etc).

Can the foundation be printed?2020-10-06T14:52:41+02:00

Yes, in many cases it makes sense to print at least the outline of the foundation to ensure that it fits perfectly to the printed house. Afterwards it can be reinforced, filled and cast according to local code.

What about windows and doors of the building?2020-10-06T14:52:52+02:00

Holes for windows and doors are printed directly from the drawing. After printing, you can insert the type of windows and doors you want. The printer code should be adjusted (done with our software) so it stops and gives time to place lintels on which the printer will continue to print.

How long does it take to finish a building – everything included?2020-10-06T14:53:03+02:00
  • It depends on the building size, material properties and local environment as well as the experience of the printing team.
  • Remember the learning to ride a bike analogy again here.
Can we use the printer to build fences?2020-10-06T14:53:14+02:00


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