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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Printing buildings EPSRC-sponsored engineers at Loughborough University have developed an innovative 3D printing technique to create customised panels for large-scale buildings. Using technology first developed for inkjet printers the process could revolutionise the construction industry. The Freeform Construction process builds concrete panels layer-bylayer very precisely using a 3D computer-aided-design model. Project leader, Dr Richard Buswell, says: “Freeform gives architects and builders the creative freedom to design and build hitherto unfeasible concrete ‘components’, such as curved panels, while reducing the high cost penalties associated with traditional methods.” With additional funding from EPSRC, the team are collaborating with industry partners to commercialise the process, which could capture a significant share of the $450 billion global concrete and cement market. To download the Growth Stories app visit

Image credits: iStockphoto, Agnese Sanvito

Printing buildings - growth story