Digital construction research team at Institute of Structural Design (ITE) (DE), construction robotics company Odico (DK), and concrete pre-manufacturing company Beton und Naturstein Babelsberg GmbH (BNB) (DE) will develop, test and evaluate a novel robotic manufacturing unit (Robocrete) that generates wax formworks (molds) for sustainable concrete building elements, automatically and waste-free. The project will develop a novel technology and test it at BNB’s facilities. The result will be a validated prototype ready for global scale-up.
Project Aims/ Working program
ROBOCRETE will disrupt the concrete construction industry by drastically reducing time and cost spent on concrete element production, while delivering a massive reduction in CO2 emissions. The robot is operated using intuitive software and can be operated by any worker at the pre-manufacturing plant for the rapid production of formworks. Unlike existing CNC systems, our solution will be fully automated and waste-free as it uses reusable wax instead of EPS foam or timber. Together with the innovative and sustainable geopolymer (GPC) concrete mix, the Robocrete project contributes to the sustainable production of free-form concrete structures and precast concrete elements.
ITE is researching the automated production of a large wax block with the goal of achieving dimensions of 1200mm x 2500mm x 1500mm. In order to make the production of large-format wax blocks as cost-effective as possible, various additives will be tested which are added to the wax. Due to internal stresses in large-format wax blocks during the cooling process, different producing methods of a wax block will be developed, tested and validated . One method will be to compose arrays of extruded high-precision wax bars and grouting them through casting of molten wax between the bars. In parallel, Odico is working on the wire-cut technology to rework the produced wax blocks as concrete formwork and BNB is researching geopolymer concrete.
The research results will be compiled and combined with SC3DP technology (Shotcrete 3D Printing) at DBFL (Digital Building Fabrication Laboratory) for concrete application. The goal is to summarize the complete process and offer a sustainable and eco-friendly solution for the production of free-formed concrete members as e.g. multi curved façade elements.