Thailand 3d printing

Thailand’s SCG 3D prints co-working building designed by parametric modeling


Thailand-based cement and construction materials business SCG has 3D printed a 102 square meter co-working space with the aim of combining aesthetic textured surfaces and structural function.

Located in Saraburi, Thailand, the building was designed through a combination of various digital programming software, such as parametric modeling, and was partially printed with recycled concrete waste. The project’s ultimate goal was to 3D print the walls of the building in a surface-truss pattern in order to provide the wall’s outer surface layer with the same structural performance as that of an inner truss, while still presenting an aesthetic appearance. 

Having completed the printing of the co-working space, SCG has noted several benefits of deploying the technology over more conventional construction methods, including faster build times and less waste.

SCG’s 3D printed co-working building. Image via SCG.

Designing the surface-truss pattern

The high-resolution textured surfaces of the building’s walls were developed through parametric design software program Grasshopper 3D to strike the right balance between aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. The material’s texture was designed so that each layer could be printed at a height of one centimeter to enable an overall printing time of 169 hours.

After fine-tuning the design, SCG used an ANSYS finite element analysis method to verify the building’s structural safety alongside Autodesk’s REVIT Building Information Model (BIM) software to evaluate the construction management process and deflect clashes with the MEP system. SCG also optimized its construction material to have suitable workability and setting behavior for use with the 3D printer so that the desired structural capabilities and aesthetic look could be successfully achieved, while preventing overflow.

The finished building’s dimensions span 6x17x3. 2 meters and it consists of three rooms – a meeting room, a co-working area, and a cafe. The building’s walls were printed with a maximum curve of 20 degrees and successfully underwent a 28-day compressive stress test of 45-50 MPa.

The building was also partially printed using recycled concrete, with the waste material making up about a tenth of the final structure. According to SCG, the recycled concrete waste did not change any key properties of the structure and enabled the firm to include an environmentally-minded component within the project.

Mid-construction of SCG’s 3D printed co-working building. Image via SCG.

Benefits of deploying 3D printing

After completing the printing of the building, SCG noted several significant benefits to deploying 3D printing technology over conventional construction techniques. For instance, the building’s wall construction time was reduced to just five days, which is 66 percent faster than conventional methods could have facilitated.  

Meanwhile, manpower was halved to five operators, and construction waste was reduced by nearly a quarter to 1.8 tons. Of this waste, 1.4 tons could be recycled to make paving blocks, highlighting 3D printing as a far greater waste-minimizing technique in comparison to conventional construction technologies. 

The interior of SCG’s 3D printed co-working building. Image via SCG.

3D printing concrete buildings

In recent years, firms have continued to leverage construction 3D printers as a means of fabricating increasingly large, detailed, and more ambitious buildings.

In 2020, Belgian sustainable building firm Kamp C 3D printed a two-floor, 90 square meter house using COBOD’s BOD2 concrete printer, equipped with mod cons such as solar panels and a “green” rooftop. The house was constructed as part of a project aiming to accelerate the transition from traditional construction to 3D printing within the Flanders region of Belgium. 

COBOD’s concrete 3D printing technology has also been deployed by German construction firm PERI Group for the printing of a three-storey apartment building, deemed a “world first” by the firm. When finished, the building will consist of five rentable apartments, highlighting the potential for new commercial opportunities within the 3D printing construction sector. A few months prior, PERI and COBOD began creating Germany’s first “market ready” 3D printed building, based in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Most recently, India’s largest construction company Larsen & Toubro Construction (L&T) completed the country’s first 3D printed two-storey building, which spans a modest 65 square meters. L&T also used a large-format concrete printer supplied by COBOD to print the building, which is made up of a locally-sourced 3D printable concrete mix developed in-house by L&T’s team.

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Featured image shows SCG’s 3D printed co-working building. Image via SCG.

Tags ansys Autodesk REVIT COBOD COBOD BOD2 Grasshopper 3D Kamp C Larson & Toubro Construction PERI Group SCG

Hayley Everett

Hayley is a Technology Journalist for 3DPI and has a background in B2B publications spanning manufacturing, tools and cycling. Writing news and features, she holds a keen interest in emerging technologies which are impacting the world we live in.

From Thailand to Southeast Asia, we are a Japanese & Thai collaboration team leading 3D technology in Thailand, from technology development to consulting and sales using industrial 3D printers and 3D scanners.

▲ YN2-TECH MD Ryota Nakamura (left) and AppliCAD Chairman Prapas (right)

Lined up on the right side are various 3D printers from Stratasys of the United States.

3D printers, which appeared in the 1980s, have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in the manufacturing industry. In the words of MD Nakamura of YN2-TECH, which offers various 3D solutions in Thailand, "3D printers can make products such as prototypes and jigs without skilled craftsmanship as easily as microwave ovens heat and cook foods at the touch of a button."

That's why materials like recipes, printer model selection, and above all, 3D data, creativity, and ideas are important. (MD Nakamura)

In less than half a century’s time, 3D solutions, including 3D printers, have become widely used for everything from making prototype parts and small lots to large-scale construction that is exactly the same as the blueprints drawn in CAD.

In the April issue of Samurai Asia Magazine, we will feature three companies: YN2-TECH, AppliCAD, a highly-focused company in the 3D printer industry, and FKK Thailand which uses 3D printers for product development.

(*This article is a re-edited version of the special article in the April 2021 issue of Samurai Asia )


A shift in thinking using 3D printers and 3D scanners will bring about an industrial revolution in Thailand!

Founded in 1994 and celebrating its 26th anniversary this year, AppliCAD is one of Thailand's leading high-tech companies in AM (Additive Manufacturing) technology in Southeast Asia. The company is listed on the Thai stock market and is attracting attention from investors.

AppliCAD was developed mainly through the design and development of 3D CAD software (3D solid modeler) using "Solidworks", which is used for designing parts and molds for industrial products. It was in 2008 that they started handling industrial 3D printers. The company first met YN2-TECH in 2013, when YN2-TECH was established in Thailand.

"It was fortunate for AppliCAD to have met YN2-TECH. Thanks to MD Nakamura, our company was able to have a chance to provide our 3D solutions to customers of Japanese-affiliated companies and factories that we had not done much business with. (Chairman Prapas) "

Since then, the collaboration between AppliCAD, which has an extensive support system in Thailand, and YN2-TECH, which is good at proposing solutions and development for Japanese-affiliated companies, has continued to provide various supports with 3D solutions to customers.

▲ 3D printers that are like a household appliance

▲ The simple operation of setting the material and pressing the button is similar to that of a microwave oven.

▲ The material can be changed, and various items can be created depending on the idea.

▲Real-time digitization of workpieces using 3D scanners is another AM technology that should not be overlooked.

Recently, 3D printers that can handle not only resin but also metal as raw materials have appeared. "In the near future, if we can provide practical metal parts made with 3D printers at low prices, it will be an industrial revolution," says Chairman Prapas.

In Thailand, where industrial digital transformation (DX) is accelerating, we would like to pay close attention to the 3D solutions provided by AppliCAD and YN2-TECH.

▲ Chairman Prapas (right) holding a guitar produced by AppliCAD, and MD Nakamura holding a prototype engine block, both designed by Solid Works and printed out with a 3D printer.

● Guitar production with a 3D printer!

● What is a 3D printer?

▲ AppliCAD where excellent IT personnel in Thailand gather

AppliCAD Public Company Limited.

“Innovation Changes Everything.”

“AppliCAD is Where Innovation Begins.”

Prapas Tangadulra / Chairman, Founder of AppliCAD
In 1994, he started AppliCAD with three of his schoolmates. Initially, the company sold design software for factory pipelines AppliCAD is now attracting attention both domestically and internationally as a leading company in 3D technology in Thailand.

If you are interested in the 3D solutions of AppliCAD and YN2-TECH, or prototype production with a 3D printer, please contact us using the form below.
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The classical production process is not so flexible and cannot ensure the production of 100 parts of one type today, another 100 parts of another type tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow to produce 3-4 parts of the third type.

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