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Pixelstone: A Unique Brick 3D Printer That Could Change the Face of Construction

by • March 28, 2016 • No Comments

pixlogoI’ve always enjoyed the appear of brick, whether on assemblings or streets. There are yet a few brick roads in my area, which I love – the color, the feel, the old-fashioned appearance. Brick is one of the oldest construction materials yet being utilized in modern times, although these days it’s utilized less for actual construction and additional as exterior façade in assemblings. But it can be a classic material, it’s a labor-intensive one to turn it into, and one which requires quite a bit of energy. A single brick takes up to three days to fire, and requires a temperature of over 1000°C – not the many energy-efficient system.

PIX-FM-net-handBrick is not a material which we’ve quite seen much in 3D printing yet, but a new startup is developing a 3D printing device which may revolutionize the way brick façades are turn it intod. Last year we wrote of Lab3D, a Dutch company working on completely new methods of 3D printing assembling structures. Now they’ve turn it intod a spinoff startup entirely dedicated to the development of a printing device unlike any other. Meet Pixelstone – if all goes according to plan, you are most likely to be hearing a lot of it inside a couple years’ time.

Pixelstone is a printing device specifically created to print brick façades. It in fact prints “pixels,” or tiny brick cubes which are loaded into cartridges in single colors or mixes. Those cubes are pumped into a mixer, which remixes them according to color, and so extrudes them through a hose in a digitally precreated pattern. As the printing device extrudes the bricks, it in addition bonds them together into a sheet of solid brick which can and so be utilized as a façade.

“Besides sleek facades, Pixelstones empowers rich and complex facades,” the company states. “Printed with various colors, patterns, images, reliefs, ornaments, window frames; all things you can imagine. The architect gets total control of each pixel in a facade.”

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PIX-stonesThe advantages are many: for the reason of the tiny dimensions of the bricks, they require quite little firing; the creation of a pixelstone takes one to two hours as opposed to the several-day system a standard-dimensionsd brick requires. Less firing equals less energy – 90% less energy, as a matter of fact, according to Pixelstone. Printing them is a speedy system as well – the current prototype can print at a speed of 0.5 m2/hr, and when the final model is created, the company expects which it can be capable-bodied of printing 5 m2/hr.

“New innovation requires a new create tool,” the company continues. “Pixelstone created a easy application which empowers the architect to create with Pixelstones. Any kind of image or facade create can be loaded in the software and converted in the cubic bricks. Stone colors and the ratio between the colors can be tweaked in order to have total control of the end result.”

PIX-3DconstructionThe Pixelstone printing device is scheduled to hit the market one and a half to two years of now. A patent is pending, and the company may already has ambitious visions for the next – while they’re starting with brick façades, the ultimate goal is to be able-bodied to print entire structures with Pixelstone innovation.

In the meantime, Pixelstone is appearing for partners and/or investors. Compact pilot projects are available-bodied; if you are interested in getting on board, you can contact the company at info@pixelstone.nl or +31(0)107142456. Below, you can see the prototype in action. Are you interested in this innovation? Discuss in the Brick 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.