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Theo Salet

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

3D Concrete Printing - The transition to an industry 4.0 in construction

Construction is on the threshold of a transition to a more productive, sustainable and healthy Industry 4.0. Manpower and traditional single purpose equipment will be replaced over time by more robots. Besides, digital twins and network organizations will change the complex and fragmented supply chain that characterizes today's engineering and construction. The presentation starts discussing both the momentum and the benefits of such a transition. Concrete printing is one of the digital technologies that is in line with this development. The challenges and opportunities of this innovative technology will be discussed in the second part of the presentation. The outcomes of extensive research will be both presented and illustrated by printed bridges and a series of houses currently are under construction. Finally, the issue of permitting that comes along with such innovations will be discussed.


Theo Salet is a full Professor in structural design of concrete structures and currently also the dean of the Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). During his professional carrier, he worked on the design of large scale tunnels and bridges like the North South MRT in Amsterdam, the Oresund link between Denmark and Sweden and the Confederation bridge in Canada. From his professional experiences he became dedicated to contribute from an academic perspective to a transition of the construction industry towards an Industry 4.0. His main topic of research is 3D printing of concrete structures. His focus areas in this field of research are materials research, reinforcement strategies and design by topology optimization dedicated to printed concrete. The research outcomes are used to realize a first printed bridge and a series of houses that currently are under construction.


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