Contour crafting 3d printer

Contour Crafting Corporation | Construction 3D Printing

Over two decades ago Contour Crafting® marked the beginning of the construction 3D printing era. Contour Crafting Corporation aims to advance its technologies to revolutionize construction in building, infrastructure, and space construction fields.

Contour Crafting®

This timeline depicts the history of the Construction 3D Printing field - Produced by ELstudio, Amsterdam

Applications of the CC Corp technology may include various types of building constructions including housing, commercial and government buildings.  Another application domain is infrastructure construction which could include foundations, slabs, bridges, pylons, etc. And finally extraterrestrial construction, that is, building on Moon and Mars for planetary exploration, exploitation, habitation and colonization is another major field of use of CC Corp technology in which the company technologies have excelled to receive high recognition by various space programs in various countries.

Building Construction


Space Applications

Contour Crafting Corporation (CC Corp) is an early stage company with the mission to commercialize disruptive construction technologies, starting with Contour Crafting® (CC), CC Corp’s flagship technology. CC Corp was founded by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis (, who is the President and CEO of CC Corp and is the Louise L. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern California. Dr. Khoshnevis is recognized worldwide as the pioneering inventor of construction scale 3D printing who has so far received over 100 US and international patents in the field. In 2014 Contour Crafting® was selected to receive Grand Prize by NASA among 1000+ globally competing technologies, and was earlier named as one of “25 Best Inventions of the Year” by National Inventor’s Hall of Fame and History Channel’s Modern Marvels Program. CC Corp’s other large-scale 3D printing technology called Selective Separation Shaping received another NASA international competition Grand Prize in 2016.

CC Corp was established in partnership with a major European multinational construction technology company to commercialize Contour Crafting® and other large scale 3D printing technologies. Numerous patents by Dr. Khoshnevis have been licensed to CC Corp by the University of Southern California and a significant number of additional patent applications are independently in progress at CC Corp.

CC Corp’s technologies use specially designed robotic systems to quickly construct buildings using data from 3D CAD designs. While there are numerous applications for these technologies, CC Corp is initially focusing its efforts on transforming and revolutionizing building construction. 

The Company’s business plan is to initially leverage the CC technology to support building of low-cost and emergency housing projects in various areas of the world, including in developing countries. This plan will soon be extended to construct larger average size residential and commercial buildings. The company’s business strategy entails Technology Deployment Agreements with a highly selective number of strategic partners, These partnerships could also be in form of joint ventures. CC Corp has developed a multi-phase business plan for the design and development of commercial grade and saleable automated construction machines.

Andreas Saar is a Senior Advisor for the Additive Manufacturing Industry supporting companies and startups developing, verifying and refining their technology directions and roadmaps as well overall market strategies. He retired as V.P of Manufacturing  Engineering Solutions from Siemens Digital Industry in 2021.

Andreas is a senior Manufacturing Engineering expert with over 35 years of experience in Discrete Manufacturing Industry, managing organizations with international, world-wide distribution, specializing in the area of CAD/CAM/PLM software. Responsible for the strategic product direction, portfolio planning, development and exploitation of products and solutions.  

Andreas holds a Masters Degree in mechanical engineering and Business Administration (Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing) from the Technical University of Darmstadt/Germany. After working as  managing director of a small CAD/CAM software company in Germany responsible for R&D and Operations he relocated with his family to California at the end of the nineties to take over the lead of the software development teams for all manufacturing applications in Unigraphics Solutions, later Siemens PLM. In 2014 he started and spearheaded the Additive Manufacturing Program initiative for Siemens Digital Industries Software with an aggressive plan to develop a full end-to-end solution for Additive Manufacturing Software based on partnerships with leading hardware and software technology providers in the AM Industry. 

Throughout his career he has worked with large enterprises as well as small and mid-size manufacturing companies with the goal of helping them become more productive. He helped to optimize their processes through the development and adaptation of highly innovative technologies in the fields of subtractive and additive manufacturing. During this time, he was also involved and participated in multiple European and American research projects as well as being on the BOD for research centers like CCAM (Commonwealth Center of Advanced Manufacturing) in Virginia.

In 2019 Andreas was nominated to the Board of Directors of Evolve Additive Technologies, a US based Startup developing industrial printing technologies for mass production of polymer parts. In 2022 he joined Contour Crafting Corp in El Segundo, CA as Senior Advisor.

Infrastructure | CC Corp

Infrastructure Construction

Many types of infrastructure elements may be automatically built with variations of the CC technology. For example, a new method of autonomous construction of tall concrete towers has been proposed, which applies to wind turbine towers, bridge pylons, water towers, silos, chimneys, etc. The method employs a set of coordinated vertically climbing robots that carry a special Contour Crafting® nozzle assembly and motion control system and a special method of cementitious material delivery system. Implications for wind turbine towers is further elaborated here.

The large steel sections of the tower have to be transported from the factory to the wind farm for installation. They are often classified as wide load which require special transportation considerations. Furthermore, there is currently a strong motivation to build taller towers that can reach stronger wind elevations. However, the current method of tower construction is limited because it is expensive to build cranes that can reach higher than the current maximum height (85 to 100 meters). Also taller towers require large base segments that will be hard to transport (width limitation of available roads, height limits imposed by overpasses, etc.) Furthermore, large cranes will require wider roads at the wind farm. Currently the cost of road construction especially at hilly wind farms is very significant (about $30M for a wind farm having about 100 installations).


The proposed alternative method of tower construction disclosed here is motivated by the aforementioned high costs associated with steel segment fabrication, transportation, gigantic cranes, labor needed for assembly, and road construction.

The large steel sections of the tower have to be transported from the factory to the wind farm for installation. They are often classified as wide load which require special transportation considerations. Furthermore, there is currently a strong motivation to build taller towers that can reach stronger wind elevations. However, the current method of tower construction is limited because it is expensive to build cranes that can reach higher than the current maximum height (85 to 100 meters). Also taller towers require large base segments that will be hard to transport (width limitation of available roads, height limits imposed by overpasses, etc. ) Furthermore, large cranes will require wider roads at the wind farm. Currently the cost of road construction especially at hilly wind farms is very significant (about $30M for a wind farm having about 100 installations).


The proposed alternative method of tower construction disclosed here is motivated by the aforementioned high costs associated with steel segment fabrication, transportation, gigantic cranes, labor needed for assembly, and road construction.

The proposed approach, showed on this page by an animation, is based on using concrete and automatically constructing towers by means of:  a) robotic system that can climb the tower as it is being constructed by a novel construction module, b) the construction module based on Contour Crafting® (a large-scale 3D Printing system), and c) a novel material delivery system. The robotic system keeps the construction module that it carries well aligned in such a way that the final tower ends up having near-perfect geometry and orientation with respect to the horizon.  A small-scale version of the system has been constructed and the feasibility of the concept has been proven. Future plans of CC Corp includes the development of full-scale CC tower builders.


The major advantages of the new approach are:

  • Fully autonomous operation

  • Usage of concrete that eliminates factory work on steel segments and difficult transportation

  • Safe operation due to elimination of human tasks at risky elevations and windy condition

  • Low cost of transportation

  • Possibility of building much taller towers

5 Innovative Medical Applications for 3D Printing

Personalized and precise medical solutions are gaining popularity. New tools and advanced technologies bring doctors closer to patients by providing treatments and devices that meet the needs of each individual.

The expansion of 3D printing technology in healthcare has made a huge contribution to improving the quality of medical services. With new tools and treatment approaches developed using 3D printing, patients feel that their treatment becomes more comfortable and personal. For physicians, the new technology available allows them to better analyze complex cases and provides new tools that can ultimately raise standards of care.

Later in this article, you'll learn about five areas, from models for surgical planning to vascular systems and bioreactors, in which 3D printing is used in healthcare, and why many healthcare professionals see great potential in this technology.

In today's medical practice, 3D printed anatomical models based on patient body scans are becoming more indispensable tools, as they provide more personalized and accurate treatment. As cases become more complex and standard case times become more important, visual and tactile anatomical models are helping surgeons to better understand their task, communicate more effectively, and communicate with patients more easily.

Medical professionals, hospitals and research institutions around the world use 3D printed anatomical models as a reference tool for preoperative planning, intraoperative imaging, and for sizing medical instruments or presetting equipment for both standard and very complex procedures, which is reflected in hundreds of scientific publications.

3D printing makes 3D printing affordable and easy to create customized patient anatomical models based on CT and MRI data. The peer-reviewed scientific literature demonstrates that they help clinicians better prepare for surgery, resulting in significant cost and time savings. At the same time, patient satisfaction is also increased through reduced anxiety and reduced recovery time.

Physicians can use individual patient anatomical models to explain the procedure to the patient, making it easier to obtain patient consent and reduce patient anxiety.

Preparation for surgery using preoperative models can also affect the effectiveness of the treatment. The experience of Dr. Michael Ames confirms this. After obtaining bone replications from the young patient's forearm, Dr. Ames realized that the injury was different from what he expected.

Based on this information, Dr. Ames chose a new soft tissue procedure that was much less invasive, reduced downtime, and resulted in much less scarring. Using imprinted bone replication, Dr. Ames explained the procedure to the young patient and his parents and obtained their consent.

Physicians can use patient-specific surgical models to explain the procedure beforehand, improving patient consent and lowering anxiety.

Result? The operation lasted less than 30 minutes instead of the originally planned three hours. With this reduction in operating time, the hospital avoided a cost of about $5,500 and the patient recovered faster.

According to Dr. Alexis Dang, Orthopedic Surgeon at UC San Francisco and Veterans Affairs Medical Center San Francisco: “All of our full-time orthopedic surgeons and nearly all of our full-time surgeons part-time, used 3D printed models to treat patients at a Veterans Medical Center in San Francisco. We could all see that 3D printing improves the efficiency of our work.”

The advent of new biocompatible medical polymers for 3D printing has opened up opportunities for the development of new surgical instruments and techniques to further improve clinical operating procedures. These include sterilizable trays, contoured surgical guides, and implant models that can be used to determine the size of an implant prior to surgery, helping surgeons reduce time and improve accuracy in complex procedures.

Anatomical model of a hand with elastic resin skin for 3D printing.

Todd Goldstein, PhD, lecturer at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, is unequivocal about the importance of 3D printing technology to the work of his department. He estimates that if Northwell used 3D-printed models 10-15% of the time, it could save $1,750,000 a year.

“Whether it's prototyping medical devices, complex anatomical models for our children's hospital, designing training systems, or making surgical templates for dental clinics, [3D printing technology] has increased our capabilities and reduced our costs in a variety of areas. In doing so, we were able to produce instruments for treating patients that would be almost impossible to recreate without our sought-after stereolithography 3D printer,” says Goldstein.

3D printing has become virtually synonymous with rapid prototyping. The ease of use and low cost of 3D printing in-house has also revolutionized product development, with many medical instrument manufacturers adapting the technology to produce entirely new medical devices and surgical instruments.

Over 90 percent of the top 50 medical device companies use 3D printing to create accurate medical device prototypes and fixtures and fittings to simplify testing.

According to Alex Drew, Principal Mechanical Engineer at DJO Surgical, an international medical device supplier, “Before DJO Surgical purchased [Formlabs' 3D printer], we printed nearly all of our prototypes outsourced. Today we are working with four Formlabs printers and are very pleased with the results. The speed of 3D printing has doubled, the cost has been reduced by 70%, and the level of detail allows you to effectively coordinate designs with orthopedic surgeons.

Medical companies such as Coalesce are using 3D printing to create accurate medical device prototypes.

3D printing helps speed up the design process by allowing complex designs to be iterated over in days instead of weeks. When Coalesce was tasked with building an inhaler device that could digitally evaluate an asthma patient's inspiratory flow profile, outsourcing would result in a significant increase in production time for each prototype. Before sending the project files to a third party company for the physical implementation of the project, they would have to be carefully developed and carried through various iterations.

Instead, desktop stereolithographic 3D printing allowed Coalesce to handle the entire prototyping process in-house. The prototypes were suitable for use in clinical trials and looked just like the finished product. Moreover, when the company demonstrated the device, its customers mistook the prototype for the final product.

Overall, the introduction of in-house manufacturing resulted in an exceptional reduction in prototyping time by 80–90%. In addition, the models took only eight hours to print and were finished and painted in a matter of days, while outsourcing the same process would take a week or two.

Hundreds of thousands of people lose limbs every year, but only a fraction of them are able to restore limb function with a prosthesis.

Conventional dentures are only available in a few sizes, so patients must adjust to what fits best. On the other hand, custom bionic prostheses that mimic the movements and grips of a real limb based on the impulses of the surviving limb muscles are so expensive that they can only be used by patients living in developed countries with the best medical insurance. In the case of children's prostheses, the situation is aggravated even more. Children grow up and inevitably outgrow their prostheses, which, as a result, require costly modifications.

The difficulty lies in the lack of manufacturing processes that would allow for individual orders at an affordable price. But increasingly, prosthetists are looking to reduce these high financial barriers to rehabilitation with the flexible design capabilities of 3D printing.

Initiatives like e-NABLE allow people around the world to learn about the possibilities of 3D printed prostheses. They are driving an independent movement in the prosthesis industry by offering information and free open source projects so that patients can get a custom-designed prosthesis for as little as $50.

Other inventors, such as Lyman Connor, go even further. With only a small fleet of four desktop 3D printers, Lyman was able to fabricate and customize his first mass-produced prostheses. His ultimate goal? Create a customizable fully bionic arm that will cost incomparably less than similar prostheses that retail for tens of thousands of dollars.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have also found that 3D printing is the best method for making more comfortable prosthetic sockets.

In addition, the low cost of manufacturing these prostheses, as well as the freedom that comes with being able to design custom designs, speak for themselves. 3D printed prostheses have a lead time of just two weeks, and then they can be tried and serviced at a much lower cost than traditional counterparts.

As costs continue to fall and material properties improve, the role of 3D printing in healthcare will no doubt become more important.

The same high financial barriers that are seen in prosthetics are common in orthoses and insoles. Like many other patient-specific medical devices, custom-made orthoses are often not available due to their high cost and take weeks or months to manufacture. 3D printing solves this problem.

Confirmation is the example of Matej and his son Nick. Nick was born in 2011. Complications during preterm birth led to the fact that he developed cerebral palsy, a pathology that affects nearly twenty million people worldwide. Matei was delighted with how determined his son was to overcome the limitations of his illness, but he was faced with a choice between a standard, off-the-shelf orthosis that would be uncomfortable for his son, or an expensive custom solution that would take weeks or months to manufacture and ship. , and from which the child would quickly grow.

He decided to take matters into his own hands and began to look for new ways to achieve his goal. Thanks to the opportunities provided by digital technologies, in particular 3D scanning and 3D printing, Matei and Nika's physiotherapists were able to develop a completely new innovative workflow for the manufacture of ankle orthoses through experiments.

The resulting 3D-printed, custom-fit orthosis that provides support, comfort, and motion correction helped Nick take his first steps on his own. This non-standard orthopedic device reproduced the functionality of the highest-class orthopedic products, at the same time it cost many times less and did not require any additional settings.

Professionals around the world are using 3D printing as a new method of manufacturing custom insoles and orthoses for patients and clients, as well as a range of other physiotherapy tools. In the past, undergoing a course of physiotherapy with the use of individual physiotherapy instruments carried many difficulties. Often there was a situation when patients had to wait a long time for a finished product, which at the same time did not provide proper comfort. 3D printing is step by step changing this status quo. Data confirms that 3D printed insoles and orthoses offer a more precise fit and lead to better therapeutic outcomes, which means greater comfort and benefit for patients.

The usual treatments for patients with severe organ damage today are autografts, transplantation of tissue from one area of ​​the body to another, or transplantation of a donor organ. Researchers in bioprinting and tissue engineering hope to expand this list soon with on-demand fabrication of tissues, blood vessels, and organs.

3D bioprinting is an additive manufacturing process that uses materials known as bioink (a combination of living cells and a compatible substrate) to create tissue-like structures that can be used in medicine. Tissue engineering combines new technologies, including bioprinting, which make it possible to grow replacement tissues and organs in the laboratory for use in the treatment of injuries and diseases.

Using high-precision 3D printing, researchers such as Dr. Sam Pashne-Tala from the University of Sheffield are opening up new possibilities for tissue engineering.

In order to direct cell growth to form the necessary tissue, Dr. Pashne-Tala grows living cells on a laboratory scaffold that provides a template of the required shape, size and geometry. For example, to create a blood vessel for a patient with cardiovascular disease, a tubular structure is needed. The cells will multiply and cover the scaffold, taking on its shape. Then the scaffold is gradually destroyed, and the living cells take the form of the target tissue, which is cultured in a bioreactor - a chamber that contains the cultured tissue and can reproduce the internal environment of the body so that the cultured tissue acquires the mechanical and biological characteristics of organic tissue.

3D printed bioreactor chamber with tissue engineered aorta miniature inside. The tissue is cultured in a bioreactor to acquire the mechanical and biological characteristics of the organic tissue.

3D printed bioreactor chamber with tissue engineered aorta miniature inside. The tissue is cultured in a bioreactor to acquire the mechanical and biological characteristics of the organic tissue.

This will allow scientists to design patient-specific vascular grafts, expand surgical care, and provide a unique platform for testing new vascular medical devices for people suffering from cardiovascular disease, which is currently the leading cause of death worldwide. The ultimate goal is to create blood vessels that are ready for implantation in patients. Since tissue engineering uses cells taken from a patient in need of treatment, this eliminates the possibility of rejection by the immune system, which is the main problem of modern transplantation.

3D printing has proven its ability to solve the problems that exist in the production of synthetic blood vessels, in particular, the difficulty of recreating the required accuracy of the shape, size and geometry of the vessel. The ability of printed solutions to clearly reflect the specific characteristics of patients was a step forward.

According to Dr. Pashne-Tal: “[Creating blood vessels using 3D printing] makes it possible to expand the possibilities of surgical care and even create designs of blood vessels for a specific patient. Without the existence of high-precision affordable 3D printing, the creation of such forms would not be possible.”

We are witnessing significant advances in the development of biological materials that can be used in 3D printers. Scientists are developing new hydrogel materials that have the same consistency as organ tissues present in the human brain and lungs, which can be used in a range of 3D printing processes. Scientists hope that they will be able to implant them into the body as a "scaffold" for cell growth.

Although bioprinting of fully functional internal organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver still looks futuristic, hybrid 3D printing at very high speed opens up more and more new horizons.

It is expected that sooner or later the creation of biological matter on laboratory printers will lead to the generation of new, fully functional 3D printed organs. In April 2019, scientists at Tel Aviv University 3D-printed the first heart using biological tissue from a patient. A tiny copy was created using the patient's own biological tissues, which made it possible to fully match the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical profile of the patient.

“At this stage, the heart we printed is small, about the size of a rabbit heart, but normal-sized human hearts require the same technology,” says Prof. Tal Dvir.

The first 3D bioprinted heart created at Tel Aviv University.

Precise and affordable 3D printing processes, such as desktop stereolithography, are democratizing access to technology, enabling healthcare professionals to develop new clinical solutions and quickly produce medical devices with individual characteristics, and doctors around the world to offer new types of therapy.

As 3D printing technologies and materials improve, it will continue to expand personalized treatment and deliver high performance medical devices.

Learn more about the use of 3D printing in healthcare

A house can be built with a 3D printer in just a day in 24 hours.

Professor Beroch Khoshnevis has designed a huge robot that can replace construction workers. This robot sprays the concrete mixture and shapes the structure of the house according to the computer model. The technology, called Contour Crafting ("contour manufacturing"), can become a revolution in the field of construction.

Contour Crafting in the future will reduce the cost of building houses and make housing more affordable for many people. This technology can be used in areas prone to natural disasters to create temporary shelters. For example, during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, almost 600,000 people lost their roof over their heads. Contour Crafting could quickly provide housing for all those affected. In addition, there are currently about 1 billion people across the planet living in uninhabitable homes. Professor Khoshnevis' technology could handle this problem as well.

Contour Crafting is explained by Brad Lemley, co-author of Discover Magazine: this place. A gantry crane with an overhead nozzle and a boom for supplying components moves along rails. The nozzle sprays cement in layers to create hollow walls and then fills them with additional cement. The only thing left for people to do is to put in windows and doors.”

“This is a CAD/CAM 3D modeling technology. The design of buildings is developed by a computer, which builds these buildings,” says Khoshnevis. Contour Crafting will allow entire neighborhoods to be built at a low cost, in less time, with greater safety and greater architectural decision making. Contour Crafting also makes it possible to create structures that are more robust than traditional construction. During the tests, the following data was obtained: the strength of the wall made using the Contour Crafting technology was 10,000 lb/in² versus 3,000 lb/in² for a conventional wall.

This technology can be used not only for the construction of residential buildings, but also for the construction of high-rise office buildings. According to Khoshnevis, the crane can be equipped with multiple nozzles and can even be made to climb outside walls.

Many people think that all Contour Crafting buildings will look the same. However, the design can be diversified by changing the program. According to Khoshnevis, such houses can be even more extravagant than ordinary buildings. You can add interesting architectural details (for example, make the walls curved) without incurring additional costs.

There are fears that Contour Crafting will put many construction workers out of work. The sector employs almost 110 million people worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization. The construction sector plays an important role in reducing unemployment and labor surpluses in rural areas. In 1900, 62% of Americans were farmers, today their proportion has dropped to 1.

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