Leading 3D construction printer firm Black Buffalo 3D has teamed up with affordable housing provider Alquist and US industrial hemp company Revive Hemp Industries to create a structural hemp-based 3D construction ink, Black Buffalo 3D announced on 9 November.

The joint venture’s aim is to create alternatives to traditional building materials, according to the statement, with industrialised hemp having the potential to be a net-zero alternative to cement.

Black Buffalo 3D manufactures large-scale, 3D construction printers for printing structural components and buildings of between one to four floors, and construction ink.

One of the first companies to adopt 3D construction printing, Alquist specialises in creating affordable housing throughout the USA and has taken the technology from concept to application by printing homes for families in Virginia, with hundreds more planned.

“We believe that by introducing hemp into our homes, we’ll not only strengthen the wall systems, but also the home itself will sequester carbon every day, contributing to greener construction,” Alquist founder and CEO Zachary Mannheimer said.

Revive Hemp Industries would supply materials to be studied and integrated into a new form of sustainable ink, which could replace cement-based concrete used in 3D printing and traditional construction projects, the statement said.

“The versatility, strength, and natural qualities of the hemp plant, combined with its ability to offset carbon, have the potential to change the construction industry on a massive scale,” Revive Hemp Industries founder John Rose said.