3D printed concrete technology team turns to wind energy structures

Sources: Accucode Inc., Denver; CP staff

A $250,000 infusion from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program will position Boulder-based concrete construction specialist RCAM Technologies and technology integrator Accucode Inc. to develop wind energy components using 3D printing methods. 

The grant supports RCAM work on a concrete wind turbine foundation with the potential to reduce offshore deployment costs by up to $4 million per foundation and $400 million per plant. The firm will use the funding to expand its 3D concrete printing capabilities at two Colorado partner locations: the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, and Accucode’s new Colorado Springs facility. 

“This will allow us to establish large scale 3D concrete printing capabilities and utilize NREL’s world-class testing facilities to advance our technologies,” says RCAM CEO Jason Cotrell. The firm will install a large-scale 3D concrete printing system at NREL, he adds, where team members will begin fabricating fixed-bottom support structures for offshore wind turbines. After manufacturing and assembly processes have been tested, printing equipment will be moved to Colorado Springs for further research & development. Accucode engineers and concrete printing experts will then use the equipment to develop and test a variety of renewable energy and civil infrastructure components.

“3D technology is in the process of disrupting how we make everything, including commercial construction. Accucode 3D and The 3D Printing Store are proud to partner with RCAM to lead the way,” affirms Accucode CEO Kevin Price.