Many of us are aware of the multitude of 3D printers and 3D printing technology available to us through commercial purchase. Some of us have even considered buying one. Others have had the chance to play around with one at work or a friend’s place (and let’s not forget all those little Darth Vader heads and PVC desk trinkets we can’t seem to resist making). But 3D printers are an expensive investment. Little wonder people have started to build their own 3D printers by following open-source DIY instructions found online – a move that is becoming increasingly prevalent.
It’s also possible to “hack” a 3D printer to print concrete rather than plastic. This is all thanks to some pioneering work by Clayton Douglas Muhleman and Alan Cation, who were architecture masters students at.the California College of the Arts when they figured out how to use their mobile 3D printer with concrete.
The duo spent months crafting and engineering, after first studying how concrete behaves in a powder bed printer. They finally got it right and very generously have put out a helpful, albeit rather technical, step-by-step guide on how to build your very own Concrete 3D Printer, which is available via This Incredible Site. Basically, you can take a commercially available 3D printer, tweak it here and there, and end up with a tool that prints in concrete.
With this new technology at our disposal we can expect to see more 3D printed concrete products emerging onto the market. The ability to print in concrete on a smaller scale from the comfort of your own home is indeed giving rise to novel and interesting uses of the substance. Check out these Concrete Business Cards, for instance. They may not seem practical at first, but they’re certainly memorable!
We hope you’re inspired enough to try something new – and while you’re at it, why not enter it into the PPC Imaginarium competition?