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3D concrete printing with a KUKA KR QUANTEC robotic arm

BESIX Group is an innovative company active in 3D concrete printing with an industrial KUKA robotic arm.

BESIX Group, founded in 1909, is a leading Belgian company, mainly active in the construction, real estate development and concession sector. Over the years, the group has experienced enormous growth and has gained a great deal of know-how and experience. Among other things, this has ensured that the company has evolved from a valued construction partner to a company that can offer a complete service package. This allows BESIX Group to take on any project, whatever its size, including financing, design, construction and maintenance. The last few years, the company has focused on diversifying its activities, both geographically and across sectors. This has been made possible thanks to a strong organizational policy and some acquisitions and participations. Meanwhile, BESIX Group is active in 25 countries on 5 continents. It can certainly be stated that BESIX Group is a company of which the last has not yet been seen or heard. Their motto is therefore "To excel in creating sustainable solutions for a better world".

Technological progress in the construction sector thanks to 3D concrete printing

The construction sector has always been very close to BESIX Group's heart, which is why it is the company's core business. In recent years, the construction sector has been catching up strongly in terms of digitization and innovative tools. This technological progress is mainly in the design and engineering of buildings and constructions. With 3D concrete printing, BESIX Group is taking the next step towards digital project implementation.
With 3D concrete printing, BESIX Group is taking the next step towards digital project implementation.

BESIX Group first models all elements itself via the 3D software Revit and Grashopper. This software will then drive the KUKA KR 120 R3900 robot. This robot is equipped with a nozzle for 3D concrete printing. Because BESIX Group performs 3D concrete printing with a KUKA industrial robot arm, they can print an object between 30 minutes to 1 hour on average. For example, the architectural column of 2m (see picture) is printed in less than 1 hour.

More possibilities thanks to 3D concrete printing

This BESIX Group 3D concrete printing application greatly increases the design freedom in the engineering phase, automatically presenting a wider range of possible solutions to customers. As a result, customers are no longer bound to standard designs. Because the model is printed in 3D with a KUKA robot, it is also possible to always create exactly the same product with less waste and this at a much higher speed. This also increases BESIX Group's production capacity and all off this in a much safer, controlled working environment.
This architectural column is printed in less than 1 hour

Innovation through Partnership

BESIX Group is therefore more than satisfied with their choice to use a KUKA KR 120 R3900 robot for this application. Because 3D concrete printing with an industrial robot arm was something new for them too, it was important to find a reliable partner who was willing to think along with them. KUKA and BESIX Group took a close look at the application and discussed the possible steps in this process. Thanks to this intensive qualitative collaboration, BESIX Group succeeded in developing and implementing a successful, innovative robot application. Due to the great success of 3D concrete printing with a KUKA robot, BESIX Group is even thinking of expanding their production facility in Dubai or a similar setup in Belgium or the Netherlands. So the BESIX Group story has only just begun and we will hear a lot more about it in the future.

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