Created 165 years ago, the Vicat group is a French cement manufacturer, today focused on three main activities: cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates. He has just announced the launch of a brand dedicated to 3D concrete printing, Lithosys. This new offer covers the entire technology value chain, from the design of complex shapes to the production of concrete structures, including the development of custom-made inks. Lithosys intends to become one of the major players in 3D concrete printing in France and internationally and has already invested several million euros in an R&D and production center to push the limits of technology.
Vicat’s objective is to put its expertise in construction materials at the service of 3D printing and thus offer businesses and manufacturers optimal support. This approach is also part of the group’s environmental strategy; Vicat has committed to a path of carbon neutrality in its value chain by 2050. As we know, 3D printing makes it possible to reduce the quantity of materials used and the waste produced, a key point in the construction market.
Olivier Martinage, Concrete 3D Printing Manager, adds: “Concrete 3D printing is a technology at the crossroads of digital and ecological transitions, whose rapid progress is opening up new horizons. Computer-aided design tools put the right concrete in the right place. Thanks to our expertise across the entire 3D concrete printing value chain, we offer tailor-made support with Lithosys to bring the most daring projects to life!”
A production center and a tailor-made offer
In order to take advantage of all the advantages of technology and develop new applications, the French group opened a dedicated R&D and production center in Chambéry, Savoie, in 2021. More than 2 million euros have been invested to pursue the formulation of construction materials compatible with 3D printing, the creation of complex designs or the improvement of their machine. Concretely, Lithosys is now able to develop custom-made concrete inks, meeting the constraints of additive manufacturing. Its objective is to extend the range offered as much as possible, a range which should include low-carbon and biosourced inks.
Lithosys goes beyond the material since the brand has developed its own manufacturing solution; it is a robotic arm whose head is equipped with an extruder capable of depositing the concrete layer by layer. The machine can be installed in the workshop or on a construction site and allows the construction of walls, street furniture, exterior decoration, manholes, etc.
One of the projects on which the French brand has worked is called BathyReef. It is an artificial story printed in 3D and submerged at a depth of 2,400 meters, off the coast of Toulon. It was designed to study the biodiversity, bioluminescence and biogeochemical processes of the seabed. Its shape is particularly innovative since it takes up that of sea sponges, with sorts of channels in which marine life could develop widely. About fifteen blocks were therefore printed in 3D and then assembled on a concrete slab.
If you want to know more about Vicat’s offer dedicated to concrete 3D printing, go to its website HERE. In any case, we will not fail to keep you informed of the various projects carried out by the brand.
*Cover photo credits: Benoit Gillardeau
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Lithosys, a new French offer dedicated to concrete 3D printing – 3Dnatives
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