Mapei Corporation, manufacturer of construction materials for the building industry, and Black Buffalo 3D Corporation, a provider of large-scale 3D construction printers, have announced a strategic, research, development and manufacturing partnership for the 3D construction-printing industry.
The first collaboration from this partnership, Planitop 3D is designed to work with Black Buffalo 3D’s Nexcon printers to provide enhanced performance at a fraction of the cost of existing building materials. Held to the strictest quality standards, each layer of Planitop 3D is designed to quickly set up and support every layer that is printed above it – saving time, reducing materials and increasing jobsite efficiency.
The official launch of Planitop 3D occurred at the site of a housing project in Virginia, in which 3D contracting group Alquist 3D will use NEXCON printers and the innovative new mortar to 3D-print 200 new homes. Alquist 3D is an innovative builder that is committed to helping rural communities through the use of leading-edge technologies.
“Mapei has always been known for innovation and for helping communities around the nation,” said Luigi Di Geso, Mapei Corporation’s president and CEO. “These 3D-printed homes and other structures printed with Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo 3D’s Nexcon printers represent technology at its most compassionate and at its highest level of innovation.”
Michael Woods, COO/CEO of Big Sun Holdings, Black Buffalo 3D’s parent corporation, remarked, “The Black Buffalo 3D team recognized the need for standardization in materials to drive the next phase of growth in the 3D construction industry. MAPEI was able to enhance the formula that our team developed and take it to the next level, outclassing every product on the market – at a cost that makes 3D-printing homes, buildings and infrastructure feasible on nearly every level.”
Planitop 3D is now available across North America through MAPEI. The cement-based construction ink/mortar has been developed through years of research, testing and evaluation by independent and in-house material scientists at MAPEI, Black Buffalo 3D and various third-party labs, including Intertek, which is based in York, Pennsylvania.
Planitop 3D is currently in the verification process for meeting the ICC-ES AC509 standard for 3D-printed walls. Black Buffalo 3D is the first company in the world to submit material for proving its ability to meet this globally recognized criteria. Milestones that have already been achieved include several 13-hour-plus printing sessions on NEXCON printers by the Black Buffalo 3D team in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and a multitude of successful tests for strength, usability, resilience and longevity. The verification process follows the stringent testing requirements of the ICC-ES AC509 guideline for 3D-printed walls. More than 50 countries recognize this guideline for 3D-printed walls. The official results and reporting are expected to be released in the near future.