Building Affordable Housing with 3D Printing Concrete

Quikrete and Contour Crafting Crack the Code - 3D printing concrete
The Quikrete Companies and the Contour Crafting Corporation (CC Corp) recently entered into a collaboration. Together, they are developing proprietary concrete for use in the automated construction of residential, commercial, industrial and government structures using Contour Crafting technology. Unlike other mortar-based 3D printable products, the advanced concrete mix produced by Quikrete is formulated to include coarse aggregate. This is specifically for use with CC Corp’s proprietary 3D printing system. The first true 3D printing concrete makes building high-quality customized structures fast, efficient and affordable.

CC Corp has lead the charge to obtain regulatory acceptance for this innovative construction technique. The company has successfully sheparded Acceptance Criteria AC509 (for 3D printed concrete walls) through the rigorous ICC-ES approval process. The new concrete under development by Quikrete addresses key requirements for printability and constructability. This includes shape-holding thixotropic properties as well as rapid setting and dimensional stability features. The initial goal is to provide low-income housing and homes for disaster relief. Thus, a 2,000 square-foot house can potentially be complete in a few days, not weeks. It will also be for a fraction of the cost of traditional construction. They accomplish this by dispensing the Quikrete concrete in layers. They then use CC Corp’s 3D printing technology according to digital architectural models.

A word from the participating companies

“Quikrete appreciates the practical approach taken by Contour Crafting to address real-life issues that we can anticipate as we implement this game-changing, concrete-printing technology,” said Chuck Cornman, Chief Technology Officer at The Quikrete Companies. “The material properties you need for 3D concrete printing is inline with Quikrete’s core technologies in rheological tuning, hydration and set time control, and managing dimensional stability.”

“CC Corp is happy with the collaboration arrangement with The Quikrete Companies. It aspires to create useful construction technologies. These technologies offer structurally and economically viable solutions that perform at least as well as the conventional concrete construction practices,” says Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, CC Corp’s Chief Executive Officer.

After comprehensive testing at an independent accredited lab at the University of Southern California to confirm AC509 compliance, the 3D printing process will then be used to construct four low-income housing units as part of a demonstration project sponsored by the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA). This innovative build will showcase the great potential of the Contour Crafting and Quikrete technology in achieving low-cost, sustainable construction to address the homelessness problem in Los Angeles and also worldwide. For more information, visit

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