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“If we do not look at new ways of building, we’re never going to catch up." Ian Arthur, co-founder of Nidus3D
Nidus3D, based in Kingston, Ont., recently completed what it says is North America’s first three-dimensional (3-D) printed two-storey building, using its strategic partner Cobod International’s BOD2 printing technology and concrete, on nearby Wolfe Island (see video below).
The 2,300-sf mixed-use building—Nidus3D’s second structure, the first having been built earlier this summer—features a studio on the ground floor and a residence above. Among the project’s more unusual aspects, a horizontal beam was 3-D printed on-site before being lifted into place by crane.
The building took 80 hours to print, down from 200 hours for the first structure. The company says future buildings can be made even faster.
“We have a critical shortfall of skilled labourers and a massive, growing demand for housing all across Canada,” says Ian Arthur, co-founder of Nidus3D. “If we do not begin to look at new ways of building, we’re never going to catch up.”
Until now, 3-D printed buildings in Canada and the U.S. have only been single-storey structures—but Denmark-based Cobod’s technology, of which Nidus3D is a distributor, has already been used to create two- and even three-storey buildings in Europe.
The BOD2 can print real concrete with a particle size up to 10 mm. This process, referred to as D.Fab, was developed in co-operation with Cemex, which is best-known for manufacturing and distributing cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates around the world, but is also a key shareholder in Cobod, along with General Electric (GE) and Peri.