A Sense for Structure: NOWlab’s World-First ‘Smart Concrete Wall’

Home » Blog » NOWLAB » A Sense for Structure: NOWlab’s World-First ‘Smart Concrete Wall’

We were thrilled to announce news of the world's first 'smart concrete wall' via a recent article on designboom. Developed by NOWlab, the innovation department at BigRep, the smart concrete wall involved the production of large-scale 3D-printed formwork, enabling an adaptive surface through embedded capacitive sensors.

Jörg Petri, co-founder of NOWlab and lead on this cutting-edge project, said, “This functionalization of a concrete surface is the first of its kind, opening the possibility for any imaginable concrete surface to become a switch.”

The capacitive sensors are activated by the touch of a hand on the outer surface of the concrete wall, turning on and off the functional 3D-printed hexagonal light fixtures in the grid. A video by BigRep on the smart concrete wall visually demonstrates how the structure works, and how it is envisioned to be used in a larger format, such as for wall dividers, facades and interior screens. The smart concrete wall was created to be 2 m in height, 1 m wide, and 10-30 cm in depth.

3D-printed formwork for the wall was printed on a BigRep ONE large-scale 3D printer at Immensa Labs in Dubai, in cooperation with project partner Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). Ready to be used without additional certification, Petri says 3D-printed formwork enables resolutions that cannot be achieved by direct 3D printing of concrete. With large-scale 3D printing technology such as that of BigRep, companies now have the tools to produce required parts on a grand scale.

Petri and his team developed their know-how in the realm of 3D-printed formwork concrete casting in 2015 and, as 3D Printing Industry published in an article, BigRep was granted an international patent for the technology in April 2018.

As outlined in the designboom story, NOWlab believes that 3D printing can help architects reassert themselves as the master builders of the 21st century, enabling them to have direct control of the development of their designs. Techniques that once belonged to skilled craftsman, and have all but vanished from current building sites, can be reinstated thanks to 3D printing.

Well done to the whole team involved in bringing this world-first idea to fruition! NOWlab continues to work on numerous state-of-the-art applications using large-format 3D printing by BigRep, so stay tuned in the coming months for more exciting announcements and world-first projects.

Discover our Industrial Use Cases

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audience is coming from.
By choosing I Agree you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

For perfomance reasons we use Cloudflare as a CDN network. This saves a cookie "__cfduid" to apply security settings on a per-client basis. This cookie is strictly necessary for Cloudflare's security features and cannot be turned off.
  • __cfduid

We embed videos from our official YouTube channel using YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode. This mode may set cookies on your computer once you click on the YouTube video player, but YouTube will not store personally-identifiable cookie information for playbacks of embedded videos using the privacy-enhanced mode.
  • VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE
  • PREF
  • CONSENT
  • GPS
  • YSC

This website uses ActiveCampaign (AC) as the designated CRM to track user interaction (trough trackcmp.net) AC cookies are necessaries but no IP or personal data will be saved if you don't convert on one of our forms (cookie visitorEmailAC). We use this to better understand how people interact with our site and to see their journey through the website.  
  • ac_enable_tracking
  • visitorEmailAC

Contains the current language of the admin and the user.
  • _icl_current_admin_language
  • _icl_current_language

Cookie required to allow a user to stay logged in to a web site without needing to submit their username and password for each page visited. Without this cookie, a user is unable to proceed to areas of the web site that require authenticated access.
  • PHPSESSID

These cookies are set by WordPress are used for indication and identification of the logged in user. Those are session cookies.
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec_
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wp-settings-
  • wp-settings-time-

Decline all Services
Accept all Services
The BigRep NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to our newsletter for useful tips, news and resources around industrial 3D printing.
JOIN FOR FREE
X