3D printing from recycled construction waste

voxeljet and Parastruct successfully used 3D printing using the Binder Jetting method to explore the possibilities of processing recycled construction waste materials – biogenic and mineral. Parastruct’s technology for using materials and binders is fully recyclable and can reduce the consumption of primary resources by up to 90%, while minimizing the costs of their disposal. The next step is to further develop the technology in collaboration with partners creating molds for cold casting and laminating applications.

As a pre-proof of concept, voxeljet AG and Parastruct GmbH successfully tested 3D printing of recyclable residual materials from the construction industry. For this purpose, voxeljet’s Binder Jetting 3D printing technology was used. The tested material was the Ecomould material set from Parastruct GmbH. A set consisting of biogenic post-production residues from the construction industry and a mineral binder, which was developed by an Austrian start-up. Thanks to binder spraying, Ecomould can be used to produce shapes suitable for cold casting of concrete and ceramics for interior design objects or for laminating processes. The Ecomould material was tested on voxeljet’s VX200, a 3D printing system developed specifically for research and development purposes.

Parastruct GmbH is an Austrian company offering a sustainable solution for the production of recyclable molds using the developed Ecomould technology and material set. The surplus materials recycling market is expected to grow at a rate of 7-9% annually through 20251. Growing legal obligations and customer requirements as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies are increasing interest and demand for sustainable, value-added solutions. Parastruct uses 3D printing to reintroduce unused mineral materials, such as production waste from the construction industry, and biogenic resources, such as wood flour and sawdust, into the value creation process.

Companies can make potential savings by eliminating disposal costs, which can be as high as €75-100/t for construction waste and €70-180/t for wood, and by reducing resource expenditure to optimize overall profitability. Ecomould can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in light of more stringent guidelines such as the EU Green Deal. Ecomould has a significantly lower CO² footprint compared to conventionally produced sand-phenolic resin molds, emitting -108.3 kg of CO² per 1m² of mold surface.

Molds produced within Ecomould can be shredded and reused as particle material in 3D printing. A plastic coating can be used as a finish and can be removed at the end of its useful life. This second use of Ecomould further reduces the carbon footprint.

voxeljet’s binder jetting 3D printing technology is ideally suited for Ecomould processing due to the fact that voxeljet 3D printers are open source systems whose printing parameters can be flexibly adapted to different sets of materials. Additionally, voxeljet offers a wide range of printers, currently in sizes up to 4 x 2 x 1 m, ensuring Ecomould results can be easily scaled to larger, more productive 3D printers.

Source: voxeljet press materials

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