flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

Could University Partnerships Advance 3D Construction Printing Further?

billboard - default

Could University Partnerships Advance 3D Construction Printing Further?

Workforce development, technical training, advancing industry knowledge... Is there a way we can leverage colleges and universities to aid in the evolution of 3D construction printing technology?

Quinn Purcell, Managing Editor
August 4, 2022
University library with rows of students working on laptops
University-Industry partnerships in 3D construction printing could enhance knowledge for everyone. Photo courtesy Pixabay

The 3D Printed Housing Conference brought together a slew of industry experts to discuss the past, present, and future of 3D construction printing (3DCP). With presentations from Black Buffalo, Mighty Buildings, and more, innovative ideas were aplenty.

One of those ideas? Education. From companies looking to create training programs, to advancing industry knowledge through university partnerships, here are some of the experts’ takes:


3D printing technology is reducing the workforce for framers through machine automation. Zack Mannheimer, CEO of Alquist 3D, believes in the need for creating more jobs than are being replaced.

Alquist has created an eight-week certificate program in 3DCP, offered to community colleges and high schools in all of the regions they’re currently printing.

Currently, Alquist’s courses are planned to be offered at Thomas Nelson Community College in Williamsburg, Va., and Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.

It’s Alquist’s hope that by bringing more people into the 3DCP workforce, the cost of 3D printed housing will drop. In the meantime, what are some other ways we can advance the industry through academia?


Dr. Theo Salet is the dean of the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology. He has a unique perspective of the 3DCP world given his research of concrete, systems, and design.

Salet and his students research advanced 3D printed construction techniques as well as work with local groups to 3D print structures in the Netherlands. Over in Europe, this is supported by a close collaboration among universities, the industry, and government.

One advantage of partnering with universities is that, unlike businesses, they’re not trying to sell a product or develop a system. Universities have the goal of understanding the systems that make 3DCP possible, bringing knowledge to the industry for further development.

So, let’s say you find a preferable university that you’d like to partner with. Now what? Salet has some advice:

“The company that has the idea to team up with a university should be really willing to not only innovate themselves, but to look beyond the borders for knowledge that is not available yet,” he says.

A great partnership comes from the company expressing its clear interest in the industry. Do you want to innovate with aggregates? Find a better way to print affordable housing? Whether your goal as a company is to increase profit margins within the next year, or advance industry-wide technology in four, the distinction must be made for a successful university partnership to happen.

Salet suggests having these discussions with universities, allowing for both parties to have a clear understanding of the potential partnership. According to Salet, the universities will raise all of the ‘why’ questions to the company, and then come up with a profile to discover unknown knowledge.

As Salet has found, a close collaboration between universities and industrial partners allows new knowledge to be brought into real-world practice. However, he also acknowledges that a successful partnership cannot be started without one thing: money.

“That’s always the elephant in the room,” he says. “The truth is that most of the time, money can be found. There’s a lot of funding to do research, so universities and companies can team up to find funding.”

In the end, a company can also go to its local government and start the discussion with them. What is your agenda? What is the local government’s agenda? Once starting a discussion, Salet says, you’ll easily find a match.

To get access to the full clips from the 3D Printed Housing Conference, click here to watch them for free.

Read more from the 3D Printed Housing Conference:

leaderboard2 - default
boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Home builders can maximize efficiencies gained through simplification and standardization by automating both on-site and back-office operations 

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.