Preliminary Productivity Analysis of Conventional, Precast and 3D Printing Production Techniques for Concrete Columns with Simple Geometry

Raitis Pekuss, Borja García de Soto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Significant advancement has been made in the field of additive manufacturing as applied to the construction industry. However, little attention has been paid to the implications of additive manufacturing, in particular 3D concrete printing (3Dcp), on the productivity of construction projects. The purpose of this study is to conduct a preliminary analysis of the productivity, measured in terms of cost and time per amount of material, for the construction of simple geometry concrete columns using conventional, precast, and 3Dcp techniques. The complexity of the geometry that can be achieved using 3Dcp was not factored in the comparison. Discrete-event simulations with data from the Concrete Choreography project were run. These results were compared with the productivity level achieved in the construction of a reinforced concrete column using conventional and precast construction methods. As expected, it was found that for the construction of simple geometry columns, 3Dcp is still not as productive as the other methods. These results should not be misunderstood as a lack of competitiveness of 3Dcp versus traditional methods. On the contrary, these results highlight the many benefits and capabilities of 3Dcp, which surpass the cost and time components. Some of them include topological optimization, geometric freedom, as well as increased transparency during the planning, design, and construction processes, which bring tremendous value to the 3Dcp elements. Quantifying these benefits is not trivial and is beyond the scope of this study; however, ongoing research is being conducted to address that.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRILEM Bookseries
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRILEM Bookseries
ISSN (Print)2211-0844
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0852


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Construction automation
  • Digital fabrication
  • Labor productivity
  • Time and cost analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials


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