FAQ

PRINTER

toggler_caret
What is 3D construction printing?
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 3D concrete printing 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.
toggler_caret
What are the main differences between a robotic arm and a gantry based 3D construction printer?
Read why the gantry system is the superior choice of 3DCP technology by downloading our white paper here.
toggler_caret
Which projects have been made with a COBOD 3D printer?
Our BOD2 3D construction printer has 3D printed houses, buildings, and structures. Visit our Projects & Partners page to see an overview of our partners and the projects they have done with our technology. We also recommend you follow our LinkedIn page to stay updated with the latest announcements and developments.
toggler_caret
What 3D printer suits my project?
Each project may require a different size of 3D concrete printer. For this you need to keep in mind two measures before selecting the 3D printer that fits you the best:

Print Area (PA) which is the area size (width x length x height in meters) of building you would like to print.

Installation Area (IA) which is the area needed for the BOD2 printer.

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.
toggler_caret
What options or upgrades do I need?
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 mused 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.
toggler_caret
Is it possible to add more modules later?
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.
toggler_caret
How quickly can the BOD2 print a structure?
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 like a 50m2 3D printed house can be printed with our BOD2 3D construction printer in one day.
toggler_caret
Is it possible to build 2 and 3 story buildings?
With our BOD2 printer, it is possible to 3D print houses and buildings up to 10 meters (32 feet) in the height, which allows for printing of 3 story buildings.

Several 2 story buildings and houses have been 3D printed with our technology – as references, check out PERI and KampC.
toggler_caret
Do you need a foundation for the printer?
Yes, the printer must be installed either on pre made concrete blocks / feet or can be mounted on existing concrete slab. See the specification sheet below.

toggler_caret
How is the printer maintained, and how often is it required?
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.
toggler_caret
How long is the setup time of the printer?
The time it takes to setup our printer depends on how much experience you have. A well experienced team can setup the printer in less than 4 hours, and even less time when concrete bases are used for the installation. Larger printers (more than 4-5 modules in length and width) naturally require more time.
toggler_caret
What is the printer’s lifetime?
Our BOD2 is the most tested and durable 3D construction printer on the market. We estimate that the BOD2 has a lifetime of 30 years. Since COBOD and the technology is quite new, we have not yet experienced a printer coming to the end of its lifetime, yet.

BUILDING

toggler_caret
How do I get a 3D printed house?
There are multiple ways for you to get a 3D printed house. As we are solely a technology provider, COBOD cannot 3D print you a house, however, depending on your location, we likely have customers that can. Visit our Projects & Partners page to explore our partners and customers. If you have specific plans, contact us, and we can connect you with a distributor or partner in your area, so your dream of owning a 3D printed home can become a reality!
toggler_caret
What is the construction process when using a 3D printer?
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)
toggler_caret
Is the foundation 3D printed?
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 casted according to local code.
toggler_caret
How is thermal insulation achieved?
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
toggler_caret
How is plumbing and electrical installed?
This will be done manually in the traditional way, however the printer can help you with preparing for it. This ultimately saves time and costs of the project.
toggler_caret
How are the walls of a 3D printed house finished?
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 completely your choice how the finished walls should look.
toggler_caret
How are repairs and maintenance done for the walls?
Maintenance and repairs of walls will depend on which material was used for the given project, as well as what surface treatment was used (paint, plaster etc).
toggler_caret
Do you provide support regarding building codes?
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.
toggler_caret
How are windows and doors integrated?
Gaps 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 is adjusted (done with our software) which means the printer stops and gives time to place lintels on which the printer will continue to print.
toggler_caret
How long does it take to finish a building with everything included?
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.

Materials

toggler_caret
What materials are used for the printer?
The BOD2 is an open source 3D construction printer. It can print with real 3D printable concrete, mortar, or any other printable material. This ensures the most cost-efficient materials, as it can be sourced from locally available raw materials.

We do not believe in proprietary mixes as they are limiting and very expensive.
toggler_caret
What are the cost of materials?
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.

We recently launched our material solution, D.fab, along with our partner CEMEX. This solution allows for material cost-savings of up to 90%. Our customers GUtech, Power2Build, and 3DCP Group all 3D printed concrete using our BOD2 3D construction printer.
toggler_caret
What is the hardening time?
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.

Pricing

toggler_caret
What is the shipping cost?
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.
toggler_caret
Do you have examples of project cost overviews?
We do not have full overviews of project costs, as COBOD is not the contractor on any 3D construction printing projects. However, for the projects printed with the D.fab material solution (GUtech, Power2Build, and 3DCP Group), the material costs were 1300 euros on average. This is a significant cost-saving from printing with expensive mortars.
toggler_caret
What is included in the price of the printer?
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.
toggler_caret
What are the cost benefits of using the BOD2?
There are many benefits to our technology, including cost.
The cost advantage mainly stems from the lower labor usage and the faster completion of a 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 more efficient once you have done it a few times. Very similar to how you learned to drive or ride a bike for the first time.

Terms and conditions

toggler_caret
Is it possible to rent a BOD2?
Unfortunately, we do not offer rentals for our customers. However, a local distributor in your area might offer rentals of their COBOD technology.
toggler_caret
What is the delivery time?
5 months of delivery time.
toggler_caret
What support do you provide for the first project?
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.
toggler_caret
How long does training take?
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.
toggler_caret
Is there a warranty?
We offer a warranty of 1 year.