A provocative article on Construction Digital discusses the idea of matching 3D printing with modern construction. As anyone who wanders through big cities these days knows, the design of buildings is increasingly radical and complex. These amazing designs are wonderful to look at and work within, but they are becoming more difficult for engineers and construction crews to build.
Enter 3D printing, specifically the work being done by the University of Loughborough in the UK on concrete 3D printing. That is, they’ve developed techniques for extruding concrete thru a moving spigot on a large scale, just as one might do with a small 3D printer. The results are impressive and kinda heavy.
The embedded video shows the concrete extrusion process, which at first glance has not particularly fine resolution – but on the other hand it the building component is 50 meters in the air you won’t notice the coarseness at all.
There are huge benefits from concrete printing beyond the ability to create shapes unattainable with conventional concrete pours: you can design building components that include embedded features for cabling and piping and significantly save on construction costs.
Perhaps someday we’ll see complex buildings take shape as quickly as this skyscraper by using 3D printing ?