Will 3D Printing Transform Construction?

Will 3D Printing Transform Construction?

3D Printing: A brand new installation unveiled at the GPU Technology Conference has been said to show how 3 DIMENSIONAL printing technology can convert the construction industry.

The set up is the work of Arup, an engineering agency firm, and AI Create, a UK startup specializing in artificial intelligence and 3D printing applications.

The particular structure, called Daedalus Stand and measuring 5 by 5 meters in width and length and 4. 5 meter in height, was completely 3D printed over the course of 3 weeks using new technology developed by the collaborators.

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The two organizations used professional robots – such as those seen in car factories – from Kuka, a German robotics firm, coupled with a self-designed extruder head to create machines capable of large-scale 3 DIMENSIONAL printing.

The Daedalus Stand was a proof of concept for the technology, in accordance with Daghan Cam, co-founder and chief executive officer of AI Build. That shows that the technology can work and that it can overcome two of the key barriers to scaling up 3D printing to a size useful in construction. The robotics, coupled with a corn-based plastic raw material have demonstrated that it is possible to increase printing speed and decrease overall printing cost, he says.

“The main innovation was to create a feedback loop for fabrication. It’s not blind, it can see what it’s printing and adapt to conditions” he adds. “If there’s a mistake it can adapt the next layer to compensate by using advanced computer vision algorithms to detect how the printing is going.”

3D Printing

The Daedalus Pavilion is a proof-of-concept structure showing how a combination of robotics and artificial intelligence programming could bring large-scale 3D printing to the construction sector. (Credit: AI Build)

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