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Minibuilders: robots capable of printing very large 3D objects

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The potential of 3D printers to create small series of small objects rapidly prototype is no longer in doubt. Some even throw in printing larger objects as elements of cars or parts for the construction of houses. The latter must then be transported and assembled on place. To print in three-dimensional and one block a building or a house, that’s another story … The 3D printer to be much larger than the object to print.


To avoid this problem, a team of Spanish researchers at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has mixed robots and a 3D printer. What is the result? A portable 3D printer and mobile capable of printing in layers by layer of large objects on place.

The robot system named “Minibuilders”, due to its small size, composed of several small robots (printheads) able to move directly to the structure printed layer by layer. Each Minibuilder works independently of the others but coordination on all work to be done. A ‘supplier’ robot feeds the Minibuilders liquid material while moving around the structure to print.

This technology allows printing in three dimensions much larger structures. On the official website, the researchers explain how this invention can print a 3D house, foundations the final coating consolidation, through the walls and roof.