menu

Black Buffalo 3D Wants to Reduce Construction’s Carbon Footprint Using 3D Printing

Published on December 20, 2021 by Madeleine P.

Black Buffalo 3D is a company specializing in additive manufacturing for the construction industry. It has been working for several years on the development of 3D printers and materials for a demanding market, one in which the environmental impact is increasingly negative. If you follow 3D printing news, you are aware of all the advantages that 3D technologies bring to construction: reduction of costs, reduction of the amount of concrete used, reduction of labor, greater geometric freedom, etc. There are still many challenges to overcome, but recent innovations show that we are on the right track. And just to understand these latest developments and how they may impact this industry, we met with Michael Woods, the CEO/COO of Black Buffalo 3D Corporation. The company is working to reduce the environmental footprint of construction by using a custom concrete extrusion technology.

3DN : Could you introduce yourself as well as how you discovered AM?

Michael Woods

Black Buffalo 3D is a subsidiary of HN Inc.–formerly Hyundai BS&C–based in South Korea. They have been involved with traditional construction development and creation of smart infrastructure for nearly a decade and saw the potential of applying AM technology to construction projects. Several years ago, they expanded their construction business by acquiring a 3D construction printing manufacturer- Hisys.

Black Buffalo 3D was formed in 2020 as the global accelerator for that business. We have since grown with our own factory in the U.S. and R&D teams dedicated to equipment design, materials science, and sustainability. Our team also invested nearly a year, working with ICC-ES on rewriting the criteria for AC-509 to include multi-story 3D printed walls and partnered with leading cement companies to perfect our proprietary concrete ink. We’re also working on moving beyond waste reduction and testing more sustainable structural inks for even greater impact on making construction a greener industry.

Our approach to market has been careful and calculated with a focus on proving the viability of our 3D printed construction in a way that will grow our business and create greater opportunities for companies, countries, and societies to create much needed infrastructure more efficiently with less environmental impact than traditional methods.

3DN : What is the main mission of Black Buffalo 3D ?

Black Buffalo 3D will innovate and lead the sustainable construction solutions industry. We hope to one day see a 3D printer or 3D printed components on every jobsite in the same way you often see piles of lumber, cement trucks or other types of heavy machinery. We would like to see 3D construction printers modernize methods of building and help promote a greener more automated approach to building whether it be in the form of bridges, tunnels, affordable housing or better disaster preparedness. We will support the efficient creation of this infrastructure globally through education, sales, distribution and training on our 3D construction printers to create a new trade and more opportunities for industry veterans and the next generation of builders.

Black Buffalo 3D

Black Buffalo has developed an extrusion process to design concrete structures layer by layer (photo credits: Black Buffalo 3D)

3DN : Why does it make sense to use 3D printing in the construction industry?

3D construction printing allows operators to print the components they need on-demand. Whether it be an entire building or traditionally precast or modular pieces, contractors can greatly reduce environmental impact and efficiency by utilizing 3D printing at the project site or nearby. There is so much waste at construction sites due to excess materials, so many emissions given off by delivery vehicles, and challenges related to supply chain and logistics that can be avoided with 3D printing. The only waste on our print sites involves cleaning out excess material from that machine when a print job is completed. We are already looking into ways to fully eliminate waste by using the extra material from the delivery system to create decorative pieces. The sustainable nature of 3D construction printer combined with efficiency gains will allow more projects to be completed with a lower environmental impact. Black Buffalo 3D construction printers will help build better and faster than traditional building methods.

3DN: Can you tell us more about the process, materials and software used by Black Buffalo 3D?

Our printers feature a gantry design that allows us to print larger footprints and with greater accuracy and speed than other types of 3D printers. Currently, we are using a proprietary cement–based ink that has undergone rigorous testing against adverse conditions to ensure it is safe for nearly all environments. It will be sold and available through our distribution partners as Black Buffalo 3D Cement Ink in the near future as one of our many offerings. Our R&D team is also partnered with several companies and working on creating new structural and nonstructural sustainable inks that can be used for different applications. We’ll have more on that in the next 6-8 months. Our software and controller are also customized and included with each printer.

Black Buffalo 3D

Photo Credits: Black Buffalo 3D

3DN : What challenges are you still facing?

We have been working for over a year on transitioning our prototypes to commercially viable products and making sure to test them outside in real world conditions. Now that we are there, we can reflect on how supply chain and logistics challenges forced us to slow our timeline and get creative to stay on pace. At this point we are heavily invested in our upcoming printer models and mass producing our cement ink to make it available throughout the world. We are lucky to have some excellent partners that will help with manufacture and distribution, but currently our biggest challenge is creating enough printers and cement ink to keep up with demand.

3DN : What are the future projects for Black Buffalo 3D?

Black Buffalo 3D will be making more about its printers and projects publicly available in the upcoming months. Between our sister companies in South Korea and our team in the United States we are heavily investing in the future of 3D construction printing to make affordable homes and 3D printed infrastructure more accessible to everyone. If you are a qualified builder, developer, government, educational institution, or NGO interested in purchasing a 3D construction printer please reach out and follow us on social media.

black buffalo 3D

Photo Credits: Black Buffalo 3D

3DN : Any last words for our readers?

Black Buffalo 3D will be making more about its printers and projects publicly available in the upcoming months. Between our sister companies in South Korea and our team in the United States we are heavily investing in the future of 3D construction printing to make affordable homes and 3D printed infrastructure more accessible to everyone. If you are a qualified builder, developer, government, educational institution, or NGO interested in purchasing a 3D construction printer please reach out and follow us on social media.

What do you think of Black Buffalo 3D? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedinFacebook, and Twitter pages! And don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*Cover Photo Credits: Black Buffalo 3D

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published.

de_DEen_USes_ESfr_FRit_IT
Stay Updated
Every wednesday, receive a recap of the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox.