3D concrete printing allows architects to realize the most challenging shapes. Sika's technology creates totally new design flexibility.

The digitalization of construction processes is ushering in a new era for architects and property developers. 3D concrete printing releases designers from the limitations of the right angle. Previously inconceivable architecture becomes possible. Dynamic curves and futuristic interlinked structures can be printed directly and efficiently from digital plans.

Didier Lootens, Head of Material Physics at Sika (center), with his team in front of a printed concrete element

Didier Lootens, Head of Material Physics at Sika (center), with his team in front of a printed concrete element.

Homogeneous character

3D printing not only allows complex shapes to be realized economically – using Sika technology, completely homogeneous concrete can be printed. “Because the mortar is mixed in the print head, it has a uniform consistency when it is applied. As a result, structures can be produced which exhibit the same character throughout,” explains Didier Lootens, Head of Material Physics at Sika. The color, too, remains consistent. Assuming this is what is wanted. Because concrete offers more than just a range of shades of gray.

Sika’s 3D concrete printing technology allows complex geometries to be realized economically.Sika’s 3D concrete printing technology allows complex geometries to be realized economically

Sika’s 3D concrete printing technology allows complex geometries to be realized economically.

Colorful and smooth surface finishes

Adding pigments makes it possible to insert colored concrete into buildings under construction. This can be achieved efficiently with 3D printing because the colors can be accurately controlled by metering pumps. Even precise changes of color are possible. The formwork-smooth surface finishes which characterize traditional concrete will also in future be achievable with 3D printing, allowing all types of subsequent processes including plastering to be undertaken.

Whether it’s extravagant shapes, precision-curing, or colors to customers’ specifications, Sika now has an industrial product which meets the high material requirements expected of concrete.