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He “Printed” A Concrete Castle Using Home-Built Machine
The first concrete 3-D printed building in the world was completed in a Minneapolis, Minn. suburb in August, 2014. Engineer Andrey Rudenko “printed” out the authentic looking castle layer by layer using a machine he invented in his garage.

    After considerable trial and error, Rudenko was able to design a custom-made 3-D printer so that it prints nearly perfect layers of concrete. “My current standard is 10 millimeters in height by 30 millimeters in width, but countless other options are available with just the click of a button,” he says. The 9-ft. tall castle is 12 by 15 ft. in size. He made it to prove the technology can now be used to “print” a house.

     “A new era of architecture is inevitable, and I’m excited to see where the next few years will lead in terms of construction and design,” Rudenko says. “Prior to the castle I believed I could print homes, but having finished the castle, I now have proof that the technology works.”

    Rudenko’s printer extrudes concrete in very fine, high-quality layers. It’s controlled by a computer that prints directly from CAD files using a chain of software tools. The printer is based on the RepRap project, which started the open-source 3-D printer revolution. The machine includes rails, beams and a control box that uses computer designs to print various shapes. The concrete is a custom blend of bagged concrete, sand and additives. Rudenko says his castle cost about $1,000 for cement and sand. He says the cost of the 3-D machine “is undefined at this point.”

    After his concrete castle was publicized locally, Rudenko says he started receiving requests to print castles and other art structures. His next priority, however, is to get his printer ready for a full-scale livable 2-story house. He’d like the printer to work 24 hrs. a day until the project is completed.

     “The first house is going to be experimental,” says Rudenko. “Hopefully, architects will come up with some unique design. My focus will be on delivering high-quality 3-D printing of the house walls.”    

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andrey Rudenko (www.totalkustom.com; 3dprint@totalkustom.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6