The main objective we have in the Concrete 3D Printing group is to develop new techniques and processes for large-scale 3D printing of ceramic materials for the construction of buildings or prefabricated houses, achieving a significant impact in the environmental, social and economic spheres and becoming a global benchmark in the new concept of Construction 4.0.

The construction world has been using 3D printing for many years to obtain models of architectural projects, but the technology we are developing in the Concrete 3D Printing line goes much further. The goal is for 3D printing to allow architects and engineers much more freedom to design structures with new geometries that would be impossible to build with a traditional process.

The main advantages offered by the incorporation of 3D printing in the construction sector are:

  • Removal of many of the geometric restrictions imposed by other construction technologies.
  • Ability to manufacture fully customized structures without increasing costs.
  • Significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional processes.
  • Potential reduction of time and costs compared to traditional technologies.
  • The valorization of residual materials/in situ, using them as raw material, working through a circular economy process.

From the R+D+i area of ​​CIM UPC we have accepted the challenge, obtaining key results to make this concept a reality. Our participation in competitive projects, both nationally and internationally, as in the case of HINDCON, 3DCONS and Print and Build, has made it possible to make great advances both in the technology itself, in the simulation of the process and even in the formulation of new materials and alternative cements in order to give feasibility to the incorporation of this technology in the sector.

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    3DCONS is based on the introduction of 3D printing technologies to the construction industry, new construction, rehabilitation and heritage restoration. It is focused on the development of new construction processes and materials that integrate 3D printing systems.

    The 3DCONS project faces major technological challenges for the construction sector such as: New typologies of “printable” materials and with specific requirements in application and benefits; Development of new technologies for direct printing on vertical elements such as existing facades and the printing of prefabricated “a la carte”; New design paradigms in new construction and rehabilitation.

    This project has been co-financed with FEDER funds through the CIEN Strategic program of the CDTI.



    The HINDCON project aims to adapt manufacturing technologies to the construction sector, move towards industrialization and overcome the limitations of approach to introduce additive and subtractive manufacturing in construction activities.

    The project aims to solve some important problems in the sector such as the lack of flexibility in manufacturing processes, the low productivity rate or the high manufacturing times of unique products, which cause a negative impact on the costs of customized products.

    To achieve this, the collaborating entities have developed and demonstrated a hybrid machine of additive and subtractive technologies with mortar, bringing to the sector an innovative technology that reduces environmental impact and at the same time reduces economic costs in high value products added

    Project financed by the European Commission, within the framework of the Horizon 2020 program. Grant Agreement No. 723611

    HindconEuropean Commission

    The overall goal of the project is to develop a new 3D printing system (3DPS) that fuses an innovative print head and a new cement-based material with sensorized structural orientation.

    The new 3DPS will be designed to cover a wide range of building components and street furniture. This 3DPS will guarantee an increase in productivity compared to existing conventional prefab techniques and a significant improvement in parameters related to sustainability. Embedded sensors will have the ability to transfer information on environmental variables (temperature and humidity) and degradation status (fatigue or durability issues) so that active energy efficiency and repair measures can be proactively programmed and applied.