Thailand unveils world’s first 3D-printed medical center

Thailand has built the world’s first 3D-printed medical center north of Bangkok. The Kingdom’s premier building materials conglomerate used a 3D concrete printer to build the two-story structure faster and with less labor than traditional construction methods.

Building, Design and Construction, an Illinois-based website, hailed the structure as the “world’s first 3D-printed medical center. The recently finished medical center in Saraburi province spans 3,712 square feet and is two stories tall – the first two story 3D-printed building in the ASEAN countries.” ASEAN is the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Thailand is a founding member.

Referred to as 3DCP, 3D construction printing is an industry innovation geared toward building homes faster, cheaper and stronger. The center was built by SCG (Siam Cement Group) using a 3D concrete printer manufactured by COBOD, a Danish company owned in part by General Electric of the U.S. SCG is also the official distributor of COBOD 3D printers in Thailand.

According to SCG, the building’s distinctive and unique freeform design could only have been realized using 3D construction printing.

“Using a BOD2 3D concrete printer from COBOD, the medical center bears a familiar wavy-wall design often seen in many 3D-printed structures. This building was specifically designed to support seismic loads as well,” according to the Building, Design and Construction website.

In designing the building, SCG collaborated with Thai universities. Chalermwut Snguanyat, 3D Printing and Fabric Concrete Technology Director from SCG, said that the design of the center was approved by a senior professional engineer, and the materials used were SCG printing mortars.

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