How to print a building: the science behind 3D printing in construction

by:INDUSTRIAL-MAN     2019-09-09
It is often claimed that 3D printing-known in the industry as \"additive manufacturing\"-will change the way we live.
Recently, a team at Eindhoven University of Technology announced plans to build the \"world\'s first\" habitable 3D Printing House.
But building a small prototype home in a park is one thing-it\'s another to successfully use additive manufacturing in large projects in the construction industry.
The manufacturing of additive materials adopts the method of combining material science, architecture with design, calculation and robot technology.
In some ways, however, it is not as futuristic as it sounds.
Easy way to layer-
Smart buildings-building materials layered with each other to create facades-have been practiced for a long time in the field of architecture, for example in traditional brick layering techniques.
The real novelty of additive manufacturing lies in its ability to combine new, efficient and sustainable materials with architectural design software and robotics technologies to automate and improve processes that have been manually validated.
In this sense, additive manufacturing has brought many potential breakthrough benefits to the construction industry.
3D printing can reduce material waste by up to 30% and use less energy and resources to make
On-site production (
This in turn reduces the cost of transportation)
, Give greater structural freedom and generate less carbon dioxide emissions throughout the life cycle of the product.
Printable raw materials, but there is still a way to go before additive manufacturing technology reaches its potential.
Additive manufacturing has several different components, each of which must be developed and improved before it can be successfully used for large-
Scale construction.
One component is the printable raw material-the material that is actually \"printed\" to make the final product.
There are many kinds of printable raw materials, but the most related to large-scale construction is concrete.
Printable raw materials are usually made of bulk materials (such as soil, sand, gravel, clay and recycled materials) mixed with adhesives such as Portland cement, fly ash or polymers, as well as other additives and chemicals, enables the concrete to solidify and maintain its shape more quickly so that it can quickly deposit layers.
In a project I am currently working on at Brunel University, we focus on producing printable cement raw materials.
To create materials for 3D printing structures, scientists must carefully control the setting time of the paste, the stability of the first few layers, and the combination between layers.
The behavior of the material must be thoroughly studied under a range of conditions to achieve a strong structure that can withstand the load.
The combination of cement, sand, and other additives must be just right so that the raw materials are not set up in the printer, and once they are deposited to form a structure, do not stay wet for too long.
Different grades of raw materials need to be developed and developed so that the technology can be used to construct a range of different structural elements such as load-
Bearing and large-
Scale blocks.
Another component is the printer, which must have a powerful pump to adapt to the manufacturing scale of the construction industry.
The pressure and flow rate of the printer must be tested with different types of raw materials.
The speed and size of the printer is the key to achieving good print quality: a smooth surface, a square edge, and a consistent width and height for each layer.
How fast the raw material is deposited (usually in centimeters per hour) can speed up or slow down the construction speed.
Reducing the set time of the raw material means that the printer can work faster, but it also puts the raw material at risk of hardening in the printer system.
The printing system should be optimized to continuously deliver raw material at a constant speed so that the layers can be integrated evenly.
When it comes to using 3D printing in building, the geometry of the resulting structure is the last part of the puzzle.
When the printer and raw material are set up correctly, they will be able to produce full
Size blocks with smart geometry that can withstand loads without reinforcement.
Shape stability of truss
Like the filament in these blocks, it is an important part of printing, which provides strength and rigidity for the printing object. This three-
In the next 10 to 15 years, the method of manufacturing additives for the construction industry may completely change the industry.
But until then, scientists need to fine-tune the mixing ratio of raw materials and improve the printing system to cope with the rapid manufacture of building blocks.
Only in this way can the potential of 3D printing be built faster and more sustainably than ever before.
The article was originally published in the dialogue.
Read the original text.
Seyed Ghaffar is affiliated to Brunel University in London.
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