S-500: The 3D printer that AMT-SPETSAVIA says can print buildings 80m tall
The S-500 stands at 15m tall, or five to six sto...
Russian company AMT-SPETSAVIA has unveiled what is the world’s largest 3D printer for construction.
The S-500 stands at 15m tall, or five to six storeys, but can extend up to 80m (23 storeys), according to the firm’s website.
AMT-SPETSAVIA showcased the system at the INNOPROM event in Yekaterinburg, the Russian city lying to the east of the Ural Mountains. Around 600 companies from 20 countries exhibited their various solutions under the umbrella theme of digital production.
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The S-500 can also print concrete structures quickly, reportedly hitting speeds of around 2.5 cubic metres an hour.
AMT-SPETSAVIA General Director Alexander Maslov commented: “We've always been asked for a solution for multi-storey construction. Now we declare with confidence that such a solution exists.
“During the development we've taken into account the wishes of the developing companies, at the same time maintaining the inherent reliability of our equipment, ease of management and maintenance.”
The company expects to ship its first S-500 printer this year. It is the same firm that last year printed Europe’s first habitable home.
Interest in 3D printing structures has taken off over the past few years, not least because of the speed at which buildings can be constructed, something which is seen as a way of reversing worrying productivity trends in the sector.
The US military, for example, is another proponent and recently patented its own formula of concrete that it says prevents jamming, allowing it to quickly deploy solid buildings in hostile areas.
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.