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Worcestershire start-up ChangeMaker 3D brings sustainable ‘Printfrastructure’ to rail and water sectors

HS2 and United Utilities will be first in UK to harness the technology

● Director Natalie Wadley is ‘Woman in Construction’ finalist July 2021

● Firm are excited to bring the innovation to the Midlands

ChangeMaker 3D Ltd, an SME based in Malvern, Worcestershire has reported a series of early successes in pioneering 3D concrete printing. The cutting-edge technology, badged ‘Printfrastructure’, is set to deliver environmental, community and cost benefits for Britain’s rail and water sectors. Meanwhile, the company’s Director, Natalie Wadley has been recognised as a Finalist in Design and Build’s ‘Women in Construction’ awards.

‘Printfrastructure’ technology has potential to be used in all kinds of construction in place of traditional concrete or brickwork – for example it could be used to 3d print everything from benches and bridges to road barriers and houses. It could also bring new skills to the region.

ChangeMaker 3D use a computer-operated CyBe robot that pipes layers of quick drying mortar to a precise design. This can be done either offsite in a factory environment, or onsite where it’s needed – bringing greater flexibility to build in tricky spaces. ChangeMaker 3D is demonstrating that the technology can cut time, waste and carbon versus more traditional construction techniques and uses CyBe Mortar, a low carbon material.

Natalie Wadley, Director, ChangeMaker 3D, said: “Changemaker 3D stands for sustainability in the built environment. Transforming the UK’s infrastructure is critical if the UK is to reach ‘Net Zero’. We believe 3D printed concrete has the potential to help deliver the green growth our country needs. We are proud to be working with the Dutch technology provider CyBe Construction, together with brilliant sector-leading clients, to unlock this sustainable technology across rail, water and highways.” Britain’s high speed rail network, HS2, recently announced its intention to harness ‘Printfrastructure’ to help cut carbon on key elements of the project by up to 50%. It marks a UK-first for using reinforced 3D concrete printing in an on-site capacity. The technology will be deployed by HS2 Ltd’s London tunnels contractor, SCS JV (Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture). In the water sector, ChangeMaker 3D has been working with one of the country’s largest water companies, United Utilities, to research and model the application of 3D concrete printing for delivering sector-specific products. ChangeMaker 3D were selected for United Utilities’ highly regarded Innovation Lab event, culminating in June 2021. Over a ten-week period, they were able to benefit from unrivalled access to sector expertise, resources and insights from construction delivery partners.

The result is 3D printed wastewater distribution chamber which could be built onsite. It is projected to cut carbon by 20%, cost by 20% and time by an even greater percentage. United Utilities owns over 200 water distribution chambers from Cheshire to Cumbria and say the methodology incubated in their lab could help the sector in its race to Net Zero.

The next step for both projects will be to conduct further testing to ensure that Printfrastructure technology meets operational, strength and durability requirements.

About ChangeMaker 3D

ChangeMaker 3D is a husband-and-wife team co-founded by Luke and Natalie Wadley in 2017 with the benefit of 20 years’ industry and board level experience. Their vision is to create a sustainable built environment that delivers value for society and a lighter footprint for the planet.

While 3D printing for construction has gained more traction overseas, it is only just emerging in the UK, with ChangeMaker 3D being the first to deploy the technology using this method. They say they are proud to be based in the Midlands, at the heart of technological growth and to have benefitted from some start-up funding from Worcestershire Council.

Natalie added: “We are excited to be originating this innovation here in the Midlands – the home of British manufacturing – with thanks to local support. We are passionate about using technology for good and believe 3D concrete printing has an important role to play in unlocking regional growth. It could help open up jobs and skills in advanced construction.”

Natalie was recognised by Design and Build Magazine for her commitment to bringing sustainability and innovation to the sector, reaching the finals of their Women in Construction awards last month.

The company are now raising investment to help scale their company. For more information visit www.changemaker3d.co.uk/investors

The post Worcestershire start-up ChangeMaker 3D brings sustainable ‘Printfrastructure’ to rail and water sectors appeared first on Worcestershire Growth Hub.

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