Construction 3D Printing: Hive3D Builders develops a mixed on site carbon-neutral alternative to traditional cement

While companies in the construction industry know that traditional concrete production contributes to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, there are currently very few solutions that address this environmental challenge.

Construction 3D printing company Hive3D Builders is working with Eco Materials and Green Cement, to develop a low-cost geopolymer cement replacement that has up to 93% less CO2 emissions.

Due to geopolymer’s environmentally friendly properties, the substitute for the mortar that 3D concrete printing traditionally uses is almost completely carbon-neutral. Geopolymers have gained attention as a sustainable building material because they require less energy and produce fewer carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional cement production. They can also utilize industrial waste materials such as fly ash, slag, and mining tailings, reducing the demand for natural resources and providing a solution for waste disposal.

By combining this newfound material with the already eco-friendly properties of 3DCP, Hive3D Builders has unlocked potential for reducing carbon emissions in the building process. The current estimate is a reduction of 93% of the construction’s CO2 emissions.

Thanks to its increased adhesion, the material becomes an attractive alternative to traditional cement, offering immense potential for building more resilient structures. The strength of the material can be accredited to the geopolymer’s desirable properties. It is no wonder that geopolymers, oftentimes used as construction materials, were a key component in Hive3D Builders’ material. They exhibit advantages like excellent strength, high durability, and outstanding fire resistance.

Material Costs

3D concrete printing material generally has a significantly higher cost than regular concrete. This is because 3DCP does not use regular cement, but a mortar that dries notably quicker than regular concrete does. CyBe Mortar, for example, sets in three minutes and achieves structural strength in only one hour. This fast drying speed is needed because the bottom layers need to be strong enough to print the rest of the structure on. This special, fast-drying mortar, however, often comes at a higher cost than regular concrete does. Still, 3DCP is generally cheaper than regular construction. The technique has unique cost-saving properties due to a lower material need, as well as less necessary construction workers.

Hive3D Builders’ newly developed material, however, enjoys yet another advantage in this regard. Hive3D developed a unique system to automatically mix the cement replacement onsite with hyper-locally sourced aggregates to lower their material costs exponentially. By creating this system to automatically mix the cement replacement product onsite with locally sourced aggregates, the company is able to lower the cost of its printing mortar to a third of the price of other commercially available printing mortars. This low cost might pave the way for many hesitant construction companies to finally make the switch to 3DCP.


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