LafargeHolcim says it is using 3D printing to make construction more efficient while lowering its carbon footprint, aiming to become a full 3D printing solutions provider.
The company has established a network of academic partnerships, working with forty leading university departments around the world in fields ranging from materials science to civil engineering to sustainable construction. LafargeHolcim says that many of the PhD students from the network go on to become its employees.
Edelio Bermejo, head of R&D for LafargeHolcim, said: “Our global network of academic partners is critical in helping us think outside the box. We need the brightest minds to help us lead the next frontier of building solutions."
Professor Yamei Zhang of Southeast University commented: "My team and I have been working on sustainable concrete and the development of 3D printing concrete technology. The partnership with LafargeHolcim will allow us to take it to the next level."
LafargeHolcim currently finances two university chairs advancing sustainable construction, one at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and one at the École des Ponts ParisTech in Paris, France. Other partnerships across the network are intended to drive innovation in low-carbon and resource-efficient buildings, as well as resilience and durability of concrete structures, taking place at institutions as IIT Madras (Chennai, India), Cape Town University (South Africa), TU Braunschweig (Germany) and University of Cambridge (UK). Announcements on further partnerships are expected in the coming months.
In addition, LafargeHolcim is currently organising a 3D printing hackathon, calling on students around the world to pioneer new solutions for more effective and efficient housing construction.