From Realtà Mapei n° 37 - 10/18/2023

Printing Dreams with Planitop 3D

MAPEI and Habitat for Humanity transform lives in Newport News, VA
Printing Dreams with Plaintop 3D

The combined transformative power of advanced construction materials and cutting-edge technology is evident in the collaboration between MAPEI’s Planitop 3D ink/mortar and Black Buffalo 3D Corporation’s NEXCON printers. Together, they have been revolutionizing the construction process and bringing hope to families in need through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity. During the week of June 12, 2023, an extraordinary event took place in Newport News, VA, showcasing the remarkable impact of 3D-printed housing.

This event was a celebration of innovation, compassion and the spirit of community coming together to make a difference. Habitat for Humanity, known for its commitment to providing affordable housing, joined forces with MAPEI Corporation, a leading provider of advanced construction solutions, and Black Buffalo, pioneers in 3D-printing technology. The result was a groundbreaking initiative that combined the strength and versatility of Planitop 3D with the precision and efficiency of Black Buffalo NEXCON printers, to create innovative, affordable homes.

The teamwork between MAPEI and Black Buffalo 3D has redefined what is possible in the world of construction. However, the impact of this strategic partnership goes far beyond the physical structures themselves. It touches the lives of the families who will now have a place to call home – a haven where they can build their futures and create cherished memories. The joy and gratitude expressed by these families were palpable during the Newport News event. The keys to their new homes will symbolize a fresh start, a glimmer of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

The relationship between MAPEI, Black Buffalo 3D and Habitat for Humanity not only transforms individual lives but also revitalizes entire communities. The injection of aesthetically pleasing and sustainable housing solutions brings new energy and vitality to neighborhoods, creating a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment. The impact of this initiative extends beyond the physical structures, fostering a sense of pride and belonging among residents, and inspiring others to embrace the potential of advanced construction technologies.

The power of Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo printers: Unleashing innovation

At the heart of the collaboration between MAPEI Corporation and Black Buffalo 3D lies the revolutionary technology of Planitop 3D. This high-performance, cementitious mortar/ink has become a game-changer in the construction industry, offering myriad benefits that elevate the building process to new heights.

Planitop 3D is engineered to deliver exceptional durability, efficiency and workability. Its advanced formulation ensures long-lasting performance, withstanding the test of time and environmental conditions. This reliability is crucial in Habitat for Humanity projects, where the aim is to provide homes that will serve generations to come.

Moreover, Planitop 3D is the only construction ink/mortar to be internationally coded. “Planitop 3D has been granted official AC509 certification by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES),” explained Steven Day, MAPEI’s Director of Operational Marketing. “This means both the ink/mortar and the printing technology itself were subjected to strict rigorous testing and were found to meet building code requirements for ‘bearing, non-bearing and shear walls up to 40' [12.2 m] in height.'" AC509 is the ICC code for 3D Automated Construction Technology for 3D Concrete Walls.

“Walls that are printed with Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo’s NEXCON printers can be compared to those built with concrete masonry unit [CMU] blocks,” Day said. Walls constructed through the printing process – using these specific materials – can be considered as strong as those built through conventional construction means.

The strategic partnership with Black Buffalo printers takes the capabilities of Planitop 3D to even greater heights. “Large-scale 3D-construction printers and ink/mortar can now improve the way the world faces affordable housing challenges,” said Peter Cooperman, Black Buffalo’s Interim CMO. “Black Buffalo’s state-of-the-art 3D printing technology allows for precision and efficiency in building that were once unimaginable. The combination of Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo printers results in a seamless integration of advanced materials and innovative technology, producing homes, emergency shelters and even custom commercial construction that are not only structurally sound but also quickly and affordable built.”

The efficiency of this collaboration is a testament to the power of teamwork and technological advancements. With traditional construction methods, building homes requires significant time and effort. However, with the integration of Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo NEXCON printers, the process is streamlined and expedited. Construction teams can now achieve precision and complexity in a fraction of the time, allowing them to build more homes and positively impact more lives. When working on a Habitat for Humanity project, such as the one in Newport News, VA, this efficiency translates into cost savings, allowing Habitat for Humanity to allocate resources more effectively and build more homes for families in need.

The environmental benefits of Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo NEXCON printers are also worth noting. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important consideration in the construction industry, this strategic partnership demonstrates a commitment to responsible building practices. By minimizing material waste and optimizing resource usage, Planitop 3D and 3D-printing technology contribute to a greener future, aligning with the goals of Habitat for Humanity to build homes that are environmentally friendly.

The project in Newport News, VA, serves as a powerful example for the construction industry. It demonstrates the potential of embracing advanced technologies and innovative solutions to address the pressing challenges of affordable housing.

“As we move forward, it is crucial to continue nurturing these collaborations and driving further advancements in construction methodologies,” Day said.

Lasting impact: Empowering families and communities

The teamwork between MAPEI Corporation and Black Buffalo 3D in the Habitat for Humanity project in Newport News, VA, has left a lasting impact on the families who will call these homes their own, as well as in the community in which they reside. Beyond the immediate benefits of safe and affordable housing, this partnership has empowered individuals and fostered a sense of community pride.

For the families who received these homes, the impact is immeasurable. The security and stability provided by their new residences have laid the foundation for a brighter future. Children now have a place to grow, learn and thrive, fostering their development and nurturing their aspirations. Parents have newfound confidence and peace of mind, knowing that their children have a home in which to flourish.

Beyond the individual families, the impact extends to the entire community. The revitalization of neighborhoods through the construction of aesthetically pleasing and sustainable homes has a profound ripple effect. It instills a renewed sense of hope, rejuvenating the spirit of the community and inspiring others to act.

This project has not only provided tangible housing solutions but has also sparked conversations and encouraged community engagement. It has brought together individuals, organizations and volunteers who share a common vision of creating a better future. The impact of this collective effort can be felt in the renewed sense of pride and ownership within the community.

As the collaboration between MAPEI Corporation and Black Buffalo 3D continues to evolve, there is a shared commitment to expanding its reach, making a positive difference in more communities.

Day summed up the Virginia event, saying, “As we look ahead, we must continue to foster these projects, push the boundaries of what is possible, and strive to create a world where safe, affordable and sustainable housing is accessible to all. Through the power of partnership, we can continue to build dreams, transform lives and make a lasting impact on individuals, families and communities in need.”

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