Northwestern Engineers Approach Concrete 3D Printer Demo

And down the home stretch they come! Our favorite Wildcats from Northwestern University Mechanical Engineering capstone class ME398 are running short on time, but fortunately their project’s progress is rapidly moving forward.

You may remember from their previous entry that Andy Schneider and Leo Deng, both Masters students in Mechanical Engineering, are now team members of BuiltWolrdsNU. In the video seen above, Leo first gets a little camera shy before he provides a tour of the printer’s control system (no spoilers). You’ll have to check it out for yourself.

Watch, read ahead, and check out the photo gallery below to see what BuiltWorldsNU team is up to this week…


With only three weeks left until the BuiltWorldsNU team’s final presentation (on June 2nd), we are in the home stretch of our project. So much to do, so little time. What began as an incredibly daunting project to undertake has become slightly less daunting as we move closer to actually performing a concrete extrusion using our 3D printer. Since our last blog post, we have cemented (get it???) what our complete system will look like, refined and begun to package the control system, and considered how we will test the completed prototype (hopefully without any more catastrophic concrete explosions).

We received what seems like our hundredth, and hopefully final, order from McMaster Carr, and somehow the kind folks in the engineering office still aren’t sick of us. Other important updates include Andy and Leo nearly being banished from the machine shop and Tim looking to become the world’s first concrete printer model (see attached).

Our next steps include mounting the concrete delivery system we worked on in the winter to the frame, performing EXTENSIVE testing and refinement, finalizing our extrusion material for demonstration purposes (clay? concrete? play-doh?), and trying to find a balance between actually working on our prototype and writing lengthy reports about it for our professors.  

Until next time!