Mechanical properties and durability of 3D printed cementitious materials


  • Jolien Van Der Putten
  • Kim Van Tittelboom (supervisor)
  • Geert De Schutter (supervisor)


3D printing of cementitious materials is an innovative technique, gradually introduced into the construction industry during the last decades. Automatization of the construction process offers many advantages: it ensures a cost reduction, lowers the construction time and due to the lack of formwork it increases the geometrical freedom and complexity of the design. The fabrication of structural elements layer by layer also has disadvantages. In first instance, the cementitious material must fulfill conflicting requirements; it has to be fluid enough to ensure extrudability and harden fast enough to support the successive layers. Subsequently, the adhesion between the layers also plays a crucial role and determines the structural capacity and the durability of the material in a great extent. Due to the lack of formwork, the material is also more prone to shrinkage and crack formation. In order to fully understand the material behavior after extrusion, a comparative study between conventional cast elements and elements printed by this newly developed technique is necessary. Within this research, the influence of various print parameters (printing speed and time gap between two successive layers) is closely examined for both the mechanical properties and the durability aspects, with a specific focus on the behavior of the interlayer, which is defined as the zone between two printed layers. To counteract the most critical pitfalls in 3D printing (layer adhesion and shrinkage), different modification techniques are investigated.

3D Printed Concrete elements
3D Printed Concrete Design

EFRO project 3D printing 2

3D printed house in Belgium


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