Concrete 3D printing is poised to disrupt the construction industry and potentially serve as a solution for the housing crisis affecting many parts of the world. But to make these homes a reality, we need 3D printers. That’s where companies like MudBots come in.
MudBots offers concrete 3D printers that can handle projects of virtually any size, including homes and commercial structures.
What Is MudBots?
MudBots is a company that specializes in 3D concrete printing. They are the first company in the United States to offer concrete printers in a wide range of sizes, from 15’ x 15’ to 100’ x 100’ models, that can print entire homes.
The company introduced its first line of printers at the 2019 Vegas World of Concrete show, and it has only grown from there.
The printers offered by MudBots can be used to print a wide variety of things, including:
MudBots is a subsidiary of USABotics, which works with large enterprises, including 3M, LG, Honeywell and Tesla. MudBots was born out of more than a decade of experience from USABotics.
3D Printing Houses with MudBots
MudBots offers printers in a wide range of sizes, including ones large enough to print a home. If you visit the company’s facility in Utah, you can see examples of 3D-printed homes created by customers who are going through the training process to use their printers.
Often, these homes are built in a single day and require less than $20,000 in materials.
Currently, the company’s printers are being considered for building the homes in The Other Side Village project, a neighborhood that will provide quality, affordable housing for individuals coming out of chronic homelessness. Quick, affordable and simple construction are just a few of the reasons why planners are considering their 3D printer technology for this project.
What Printers Does MudBots Offer?
MudBots offers a range of printers for those who want to start offering 3D-printed concrete structures and other projects, such as fountains or monuments. Their larger printers are best suited for 3D printing homes.
MudBots printers include:
Model E15-15H10: 15’ x 15’ x 10’
Model E25-25H10: 25’ x 25’ x 10’
Model E35-35H10: 35’ x 35’ x 10’
Model E50-50H10: 50’ x 50’ x 10’
Model E75-75H10: 75’ x 75’ x 10’
Model E100-50H10: 100’ x 50’ x 10’
Most of the printers have a 3-month build time, but larger sizes can take four months or more. Potential customers can create an account to learn more about printer pricing.
How Their Printers Work
The 3D concrete printers from MudBots do not require a proprietary mix to use them. Some other companies offer printers that use only their own mix. With MudBots, you can use any formula you want.
Here’s how the printing process works.
2D and 3D Design
Once you have decided what you want to print with your printer, the next step is to conceptualize the design in 2D using a CAD program. Once that is completed, you can convert the project to a 3D model using software and then export the STL file that will be used to help build your structure.
Setting Up the Printer
MudBots printers require just three people to assemble in just three hours. There’s no need for heavy footings or lifting devices.
File Exporting and Printing
The STL file is then imported into slicing software that specifies the printed height for each printed pass. Essentially, the model you created is sliced into individual print passes. This information is then exported and interpreted into nozzle movement.
When printing, the concrete is mixed on-site. The liquid ingredients are added to the dry ingredients and then mixed to be sent to a computer-controlled pump.
The pump works with the printer to control the nozzle’s actions and the volume rate of the material.
Layout, Forms and Walls
First, the printer will print the layout for the footings using its spray nozzle. The printer can be moved in just 10 minutes to make room for excavators to take care of site work.
Then, the printer can begin printing forms for the footings and flatwork. Next, walls are printed up to 10’ in a single pass.
MudBots’ printers can also print basement walls and will soon be able to offer slab finishing.
Utilities, Walls, Windows and Doors
As the structure is being printed, plumbing and electrical boxes are added, allowing for a gap-free finish.
With MudBots printers, the doors and windows are cut out after the wall has been printed to ensure a tight fit and prevent gaps.
2 Key Advantages of Choosing MudBots
MudBots offers several advantages over other companies that offer 3D concrete printers. Along with the printers themselves and the ability to use any mix you want, the company also offers:
#1 – 24/7 Remote Support
MudBots takes pride in its customer support. They offer 24/7 support, and their engineers provide free remote visioneering.
Remote visioneering allows for real-time, hands-free diagnostics because they can see what you can see. This level of support helps eliminate costly delays and travel expenses because there’s no need to have an engineer on-site.
#2 – Financing Connections
MudBots helps connect customers with financing opportunities to purchase their concrete printers. The process can take a few weeks for approval.
Businesses that want to apply for financing through their partners will need to meet certain requirements, such as:
Company tax returns
Projections for the next 2 years
Business license and operating agreement
Personal tax returns
Financing can help businesses that want to offer concrete 3D printer services.
Paving the Way for Concrete 3D Printers
MudBots printers can handle a wide range of applications, from homes to commercial buildings, hardscape features and more.
Those who are interested in MudBots printers will have to go through training and meet other requirements. But in exchange, they receive the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something big and transformative for the construction industry.