Concrete printer

The importance of additive manufacturing in civil engineering is continuously growing. However, the full potential cannot be exploited due to a lack of methods and processes required to improve the productivity and quality of additively manufactured building components. The concrete printer may contribute to improving the productivity and quality of additive manufacturing in the construction industry and may help answer unsolved scientific and practical questions

  1. On developing digital models (e.g. based on building information models) to resolve current information breaks in the digital thread of additive manufacturing in civil engineering and
  2. On integrating new sensing technologies, such as autonomous miniature sensors, into printed concrete components and into industrial robots for additive manufacturing to optimize material and process parameters.

The concrete printer, situated at Bauhaus University Weimar, is used by the Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction to develop digital models and intelligent sensor technologies for additive manufacturing. Besides a computerized production robot, several sensing systems and measuring devices (e.g. RFID sensors and thermography cameras) are components of the "concrete printer" project.

The concrete printer has been a joint initiative of different chairs and institutes of Bauhaus University Weimar and Ilmenau University of Technology, with unique core competencies in computing in civil engineering, material sciences, structural engineering, structural mechanics, and production technologies. The concrete printer is financed with EUR 523,000 by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and by the Free State of Thuringia. The recipient of the grant is Bauhaus University Weimar and the Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction is an associated partner. The project is coordinated by the Chair of Construction Materials at Bauhaus University Weimar.


Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly
Hamburg University of Technology
Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction
Blohmstraße 15
21079 Hamburg
Email: kay.smarsly(at)tuhh(dot)de

Professor Dr. Horst-Michael Ludwig
Bauhaus University Weimar
Chair of Construction Materials
Coudraystraße 11 b
99423 Weimar
Email: horst-michael.ludwig(at)uni-weimar(dot)de