3D concrete printing is child’s play

A chance meeting between Iconic Construction and Qorox in New Zealand led to a switch in plans for a childcare centre to be 3D printed concrete instead of timber.

Plans for the building were already designed, approved and ready to go with timber texture precast panels, but the Hamilton-based company’s owners, Johnny Gordon and Nick Lane, were “mesmerised” when they visited Qorox’s 3D printing factory.

Qorox was the first Australasian construction business to successfully implement 3D concrete printing processes that were building code compliant, according to media outlet Stuff.co.nz.

Ultimately, this resulted in the building of the childcare centre in Auckland with 3D printed concrete – the first commercial building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lane and Gordon told the NZ media outlet that it was imperative for them to be part of 3D printing as “technology and automation are beginning to play a much larger role in the construction industry”.

While 3D printing is as cost-effective as timber texture precast, according to Gordon, it saved on costs in foundation preparation, installation, and time.

3D printed concrete exceeds seismic standards, offers resilience in floods and used 40% less emissions than normal concrete, according to this media report.

Iconic Construction has now partnered with Qorox and its next commercial and residential buildings are being designed to use 3D concrete printing.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.