United Utilities and tech innovators ChangeMaker 3D have achieved a first in the UK water industry by demonstrating the use of 3D concrete printed components – with significant carbon, cost and labour savings.
During a 12-month period, ChangeMaker 3D worked in partnership with United Utilities to successfully design, 3D-print and install a wastewater chamber at one of the utility company’s test facilities in Cheshire.
With testing now complete, the partners say it proves the huge potential of 3D printing for construction and could lead to widespread benefits for other sectors.
In the case of the water chamber, ‘Printfrastructure’ delivered a 25% reduction in carbon, 20% cost saving and 55% reduction in labour versus traditional methods. The team also point to the extremely fast build time – the chamber was printed in under four hours, and with a significant reduction in the materials used. The printing process for the water chamber has also demonstrated safety benefits by reducing the requirement to work at height or in confined spaces.
United Utilities’ chief engineer (Innovation), Lisa Mansell said: “This is important for us in realising our aim to drive efficiency and improvement in everything we do for the benefit of our customers. The future is exciting for water companies like United Utilities who are trailblazing innovation. We have a huge capital programme to deliver under tight deadlines. Digital technologies such as 3D construction printing can drive efficient construction and help us meet our Net Zero goals for carbon.”
Natalie Wadley, Co-Founder and CEO of ChangeMaker 3D, said: “After months of hard work, we are thrilled to see the water chamber in situ, with proven environmental and cost benefits. It’s the result of a brilliant collaboration with United Utilities and our team of delivery partners, including CyBe Construction, Costain, Constructure, Ainscough and AutoMutatio. Thanks to them, we have achieved several UK ‘firsts’ – including the design, print and installation of a 3D concrete printed component for this sector, and the UK’s first crane lift of a 3D printed structure.”
For further information, visit www.changemaker3d.co.uk
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