Revista Granito de Arena

Progreso leads using technology in construction, with the first cobod 3d printer in the region

Pioneer in promoting innovative technologies, Progreso revolutionizes the construction sector with a system. This system manufactures concrete elements and structures through 3D models, generated with CAD software

Guatemala, November 06, 2023 – Progreso, a leading cement, materials, and building solutions company, has taken a bold step into the future of construction. It has introduced the first COBOD brand 3D concrete printer in the country and the region. This innovative equipment, with the potential to transform the construction industry, is based on cutting-edge technology that can create structures through 3D models generated with CAD software.

The 3D printer works by placing horizontal overlapping layers of ink, without the need for molds, maintaining layer integrity and ensuring excellent adhesion between them.

The first 3D printer technology, used in Guatemala and the region, is unique in its class. The technology is known as BOD-2 «Gantry». The printer uses a system that allows precise concrete dosing and placement, according to the 3D model and G-CODE programming. This 3D printing technology, also known as additive manufacturing or additive fabrication, places concrete layers that are successively superimposed, progressively building elements and structures.

Plinio Estuardo Herrera, Research and Development Manager at Progreso, comments on this milestone: «3D printing is changing the rules of the game worldwide, for both the design and construction industry. Implementing these technological innovations in construction systems and leading this change in Guatemala and the region, generates a lot of enthusiasm for the work we do. It also fosters innovation as one of the main competencies of our organizational culture.”

So far, pieces ranging from small urban elements to larger modules, such as bus stops, have been produced. An «Alpha» prototype was also developed, which is a multipurpose building with a light roof.

Innovation in construction processes

The «Alpha» prototype is the result of a close collaboration between Progreso X (Progreso’s corporate accelerator), the Progreso Research and Development Center (CID), and the Danish startup 3DCP Group. This project has demonstrated the inkjet 3D printer’s potential to revolutionize building construction in an efficient, sustainable, and resilient manner.

3DCP Group is an engineering company and architectural firm that prints concrete in 3D. It was selected at Progreso X’s program called Exponential Changemakers (ECM) during its 2022 edition.

«It’s impossible to develop the best product without having the right equipment to print, especially if the core business is producing the highest quality building materials. Progreso is leading the way in 3D printing by installing the first COBOD printer in the region. Thanks to this innovation, we can experiment and learn more about construction ink, as well as apply it to new prototypes and construction systems,» says Gabriela Rodas, project manager at Progreso X.

Progreso’s aim is to lead 3D concrete printing in the region. This allows Progreso to continue cementitious ink research and development, in addition to validating the construction method, without neglecting sustainability, resource efficiency, and labor efficiency.

Innovating since 1899

For more than 124 years, Progreso has demonstrated its commitment to innovation. It continues to drive disruptive and advanced technologies to produce cement, concrete, and other building materials. Acquiring the first COBOD 3D printer is a testament to the determination to provide the best solutions contributing to the construction industry’s future.

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