Our printers are SCARA-based printers and are highly cost-effective and free of several disadvantages of the conventional Robotic and Gantry printer. Currently, the biggest hurdle in using concrete 3D printing as an alternative to conventional construction practices is the ultra-high cost of concrete 3D printers. Commonly available printers, whether Robotic or Gantry, are highly expensive, so the rent of the machine itself makes concrete 3D printing a highly costly affair. To cover up this huge disadvantage with the conventional Robotic and Gantry based printer, usually features such as printing of textured walls, high speed of printing, and fewer labor requirements, etc. are used as justifications. However, it is clear until concrete 3D printers become affordable, it will be impossible for concrete 3D printing to replace conventional house construction. Till then, concrete 3D printing will be limited to building just demos and fancy buildings.
We identified this challenge in the initial stage itself and directed our effort toward solving this problem. We realized that the conventional Robotic and Gantry printers were not the right solutions, so we focused more on designing another different type of printer that not only be affordable but should be able to print on the site. Our efforts materialized into ‘Kelvin6k Pro’ and ‘Kelvin6k Lite’, our SCARA-type concrete 3D printers that are highly affordable.
A comparison of our printer to the Robotic and Gantry printers is appended below:
This is our key advantage. We take immense pride in the fact that our printers are the “World’s most affordable printer.” Our printers are at least ten times cheaper than conventional Robotic and Gantry printers. While designing, we took special consideration of the fact that our printers are not only affordable, but their maintenance cost should also be as low as possible. Conventional Robotic and Gantry printers are huge in cost because of which most companies can afford only one or two 3D printers, which obviously not only limits their capability but also make upscale use of concrete 3D printing highly challenging. For the price of one conventional Gantry and Robotic printer, one can purchase our 5-10 printers which can perform the same function with the same range and accuracy in terms of print dimension.
2. Longevity and low maintenance
It is a well-known fact in engineering: “More moving parts, more problems.” In a conventional Gantry system, the number of moving parts is nearly seven, so the chances of having issues either related to alignment or related to malfunctioning are really high, especially when four of these moving parts move tons of heavy steel bars. In the long term, there are certainly going to be huge maintenance issues with the Gantry system, which will lead to huge maintenance costs. Similarly, in the case of a conventional Robotic printer, the complex 6-axis movement mechanism leaves a huge gap for possible maintenance issues, and it is also not suitable to use in an open environment.
In our printer, there are only three moving parts, and we have been using our printers for more than years without maintenance issues. Unlike, Gantry and Robotic printers, the Z-Axis movement in our machine doesn’t involve lifting huge weights of long heavy bars, which eliminates the chances of any damage to the instrument due to continuous use.
3. Easy installation and transportation
Gantry systems consist of huge towers, so it takes days just to install the printer, and there are always issues with the alignment. Apart from this, carrying these heavy towers (>5000 Kg) from one place to another place adds huge challenges related to transportation costs. Comparatively, conventional robotic arm systems are easy to carry and assemble onsite. However, as previously mentioned, robotic printers are not usually designed to perform outdoor house printing as they are found more suitable for indoor artistic and designing printing jobs.
Our printer is a 24 bolts installation system. It can be installed within just two hours. The weight of the whole machine is 700 Kg, so a small truck is sufficient to carry the printer from one place to another. Our printer doesn’t require any shades or protection from any weather conditions. All our printers which are currently in use have been installed out in the open for more than a year.
4. Installation of the hopper on the print head
The possibility of installing a hopper at the end of the print head is believed to be the biggest advantage of the Gantry system over the Robotic system. Robotic arms are usually not suitable for installing heavy weights at the printing heads, which limits their utility significantly, especially in terms of outdoor printing. However, in our printer, we can attach a hopper with an extruder mechanism as big as a Gantry printer can carry. Our print head is capable of carrying more than 200 Kg of weight so a hopper of any size can be attached to the printing arm.
5. Other miscellaneous features of our printers
Our printers can be used for both onsite and offsite printing. Because of the provision to assemble a hopper, one can perform non-continuous printing also and can also control the flow of the print material. Our printers are operated using our own software. The printers can print buildings of all sizes along with complex structures and designs. Both mortars and concrete-based (Containing aggregates) print materials can be used for printing.
6. Training and understanding of the printers
We believe in not only giving proper training to the customers but also educating and making them fully familiar with the machine. So they won’t have to remain dependent on us. We train our customers in a way that they can fix any possible issue by themselves like they can fix their own ‘Bike’. Unlike other companies in the name of servicing and support, we don’t hide machine details from the customers.