Armatron Systems, an Arizona-based 3D Construction company has secured a patent for an on-site printer that officials say can create a 60-foot-long slab of concrete in less than a minute—and not just lay the concrete, but set the concrete, so it can bear weight. This rapid slip-form mold extrusion process limits bubbles and air in the concrete which shortens the curing time, which allows not just for long slabs, but curvilinear forms as well.
This patent is the first step in tolling out the 3D printers for widespread use. Armatron expects nine to twelve more months of testing before making the product available to the public.
One of the appealing features of this product is that it can create concrete slabs that range from ¼” to 30”. When the printers are ready, they will be licensed to users, not sold, so that the firm can control the quality and train the end users, helping them implement it.
Assembling the printer on site is designed to be simple as well, with no individual component of the printer weighing over 70 pounds. Co-founder Anri Kirkoryan says that the machine can be assembled and ready to work within 35-40 minutes, something that is very important to them as one of the main projected uses of the printer is to take it to the site of a natural disaster and begin assembling large scale projects quickly and efficiently.