Riga Technical University (RTU) in partnership with the largest manufacturer of dry and ready-to-use building mixes in the Baltic region SIA «Sakret» establishes 3D concrete printing scientific laboratory, laying the foundations for the use of innovative technologies in construction in the Baltics. The laboratory will provide knowledge and infrastructure to students, scientists, start-ups and various construction-related industries. It will be open on April 13, at 16.00.

The opening of the laboratory will take place online on the platform Zoom.

RTU Vice-Rector for Science Tālis Juhna, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering Juris Smirnovs and Chairman of the Council of JSC Sakret Holdings Andris Vanags will participate in the opening. Māris Šinka, the head researcher of the RTU Faculty of Civil Engineering, will present the development trends of 3D concrete printing in the world and the possibilities to use the technology in Latvia and the Baltics.

3D concrete printing is an innovative direction of scientific and technological development that is developing rapidly all over the world. Technology is sustainable, ensures efficient use of human resources and materials, and offers to the architectural and construction industries almost endless possibilities in terms of freedom of shape, size and structure.

The 3D concrete printer was made by RTU scientists with the support of RTU Design Factory engineers.

«The laboratory is designed to develop innovative ways of manufacturing concrete structures. Currently, there is no one in the Baltics, who has the infrastructure and knowledge of all stages of 3D concrete printing – dry material production, printer, printer head and feed equipment, modelling and software, material properties and testing in fresh and hardened state, construction design, regulations and legislation. The goal is to create a knowledge and technological base, allowing researchers to create scientific projects, and industry to develop new products,» emphasizes M. Šinka.

«It is common for construction to be one of the industries where centuries-tested materials and technologies are widely used. In search of opportunities to build more environmentally friendly, sustainable and economically advantageous, various innovations are entering construction more and more rapidly. By starting cooperation with the 3D laboratory of Riga Technical University, Sakret aims to promote faster entry of modern materials into the Latvian construction industry, which will increase the international competitiveness of Latvian building materials producers and builders,» says Andris Vanags, the Chairman of the Board of «Sakret Holdings».

The laboratory will be able to print concrete mass, develop prototypes for 3D printing of objects or construction details, research and test innovative materials, test printed objects. Research conducted in the laboratory could become the basis for the development of standards so that 3D technologies can be used for the construction of various buildings not only in Latvia, but also in Europe. It is planned to become an open access science platform for 3D concrete and other building materials printing. It will be available both for students and researchers, as well as to various companies and start-ups for the commercialization of knowledge.

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