VIDEO: HP’s got a robot that prints designs on sites much faster than hand layout

By Larry StewartSeptember 15, 2022

There are some heavy-duty, labor saving robots such as Tybot for tying rebar and Built Robotics’ autonomous earthmovers, but much automation currently working in construction improves the accuracy and recency of the information end of the business, surveying sites and measuring job progress.

Now HP says its Siteprint autonomous printer-bot can print the most complex construction layouts on the surface of a site up to ten times faster than conventional hand layout. The robot pairs with and follows the directions of a robotic total station to mark the floor or ground, accurately locating walls, doors, utilities and other elements in the design with little intervention.

“With HP Siteprint, we’re making it faster and easier than ever for construction professionals to bring an idea to life on site, while also providing layout accuracy and reducing costs derived from reworks,” said Daniel Martínez, VP and general manager, HP Large Format Printing.

Performance and accuracy

HP Siteprint is a suite of technologies designed to automate site layout, consisting of:

  • An autonomous robotic device designed to operate in construction conditions. The robot printer is light and compact for easy transport in its hard case that fits all the solution components
  • Cloud tools to submit and prepare jobs to be printed, manage the fleet and track usage
  • A touch screen tablet for remote control and configuration
  • A portfolio of inks for different surfaces, environmental conditions, and durability requirements

The robot is designed for autonomous operation with obstacle avoidance technology. HP says it can print lines and complex objects with pinpoint accuracy and consistent repeatability and print text to bring additional data from the digital model to the construction site to improve communication.

“The existing manual layout process can be slow and labor-intensive. Despite being done by specialists, there is always the risk of human error, which can result in costly reworks,” said Albert Zulps, director of emerging technology at Skanska – a global construction and development company currently using HP Siteprint on two prominent U.S. projects. “Layout experts are a scarce resource who add a lot of value in terms of planning and strategy, but often end up dedicating most of their time to manual execution. HP Siteprint lets us do more with less, helping reduce schedules thanks to a much faster layout process, and allowing senior operators to focus on other critical activities like quality control.”

Working with market leaders

HP and Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, have collaborated to integrate Siteprint with the Leica TS16 and Leica iCON iCR80 Robotic Total Stations to provide high performance and a unique user experience.

HP and Topcon are collaborating to integrate Siteprint with the Topcon Layout Navigator and GT Robotic Total Stations.

Early access program

Through more than 80 pilot projects around the globe, HP Siteprint has been rigorously tested across multiple environments – including residential, parking, airport, and hospital projects. As part of the Early Access Program, Siteprint will be available to customers in North America starting in September 2022. The final product and wider commercial launch are planned for 2023.

More information about HP Siteprint and the Early Access Program can be found at https://www.hp.com/us-en/printers/site-print/layout-robot.html.

HP will be running demonstrations of HP Siteprint at the Autodesk University event, September 27 to 29, Room 268. Register your interest in a demo here.

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