Mapei's Planitop 3D construction ink/mortar, produced in partnership with Black Buffalo 3D Corporation, a leading provider of large-scale 3D construction printers, has been granted AC509 certification by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES).
Code officials rely on reports from the ICC as a resource for ensuring that innovative building products comply with code requirements. This certification was granted after thorough and rigorous testing of the concrete-based ink/mortar. Both Planitop 3D and the Black Buffalo 3D printing technology were found to meet AC509 code requirements for “bearing, nonbearing and shear walls up to 40 feet in height.” AC509 is the ICC code relating to “3D Automated Construction Technology for Concrete Walls.”
Planitop 3D is available for sale to all printing manufacturers in North America through Mapei. The proprietary AC509 cement-based construction ink/mortar has been developed through years of research, testing and evaluation by independent and in-house material scientists at Mapei, Black Buffalo 3D and various third-party labs, including Intertek, which is based in York, Pennsylvania.
Achieving AC509 certification represents the final step in a lengthy approvals process for Mapei's Planitop 3D. Milestones in that product approval process include several 16+ hour print sessions on Nexocon printers performed by the Black Buffalo 3D team, which have been verified by members of the ICC-ES-approved lab, Intertek. The verification process used stringent testing to the criteria of the ICC-ES AC509 standard for 3D printed walls and included testing and verifications at the material, machine and printed wall levels.
Large-scale 3D construction printers and ink/mortar are poised to improve the way that the world faces challenges related to affordable housing, emergency shelters and resilient infrastructure. This innovation provides a faster, more efficient approach to residential and commercial custom construction. With Planitop 3D’s ICC-ES AC509 code approval, on-demand and on-site 3D printing is now a legitimate coded technology.
“Planitop 3D will unlock the true potential of 3D construction printing by providing contractors and builders with internationally accepted certification that their projects will be strong and durable,” added Luigi Di Geso, president and CEO of Mapei Corporation. “And the resulting structures will be built quickly and at a fraction of the cost of traditional construction, which means that affordable housing can be within reach for more people.”