Follow Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP)

Ready for global boom in 3D printing of buildings

News   •   Jan 30, 2020 09:41 CET

With a strategic location in CMP, CoBod International is developing 3D printers to construct buildings, a construction method enjoying substantial growth.

One of the leading manufacturers of the complete technology for 3D printing of buildings has an address on Levantkaj 1 in Nordhavn. It is another example of areas in CMP being used for exciting new purposes.

Why have you chosen to locate your operations in the port?
”Because 80% of everything that we produce is exported, so it is practical that it can be shipped directly. And it is bulky equipment, so we needed a space with a decent height that is situated in close proximity to the centre of Copenhagen, something which is almost impossible to find,” says Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of CoBod International.

CoBod has specialised in developing complete 3D printers, which can construct building carcasses extremely quickly. In brief, it is done using a nozzle, fitted on a robot arm or in a gantry, which applies the special concrete in layers until the walls are in place. It saves labour, time and money, and the technology is developing strongly.

The latest evolution from CoBod is the BOD2 Modular 3D Construction printer, which has improved functionality and stability with a print speed of 18 metres a minute.

”We have even built a copy of The BOD (Building On Demand), our first demo from 2017, which is located here in Nordhavn, and which is Europe’s first 3D printed building. The first building took 60 days to print, but the new one took just 3 days, and even then it wasn’t an optimal process as there were a few things we had to adjust en route. So it can be even faster.”

Which part of the process takes place at Levant Quay
”We assemble our 3D printers here. We have the individual modules delivered, which we assemble into the finished product. We then test the completed 3D printers before they are dismantled again and sent out to the customers.”

We are also in the process of moving our showroom from central Copenhagen to another premises at Levant Quay, located nearby, because it is practical to have the functions collected here.

Where in the world is interest in 3D printing buildings greatest?
”The Middle East is in the lead, followed by Europe and the USA. In 2019 we sold the largest 3D printer ever developed for construction to Saudi Arabia. It can erect buildings of up to three stories with an area of 300 square metres. Interest from the Middle East is also due to the fact that Dubai has recognized that in 10 years 25% of the new buildings in the country will be constructed by means of 3D printing.”

Developments within computer control and application of the concrete, and not least the range of possibilities the technology offers, are moving forward all the time, and interest is increasing substantially. CoBod International has over 100 visits a year to the demo building in Nordhavn.

When will 3D printed buildings be common in Europe?
”It will be a few years. In 2-3 years we will see a lot more, but in 5 years it won’t be unusual,” Henrik Lund-Nielsen says.

CoBods website: