Exone end to end binder jetting service

Nanyang Technological University: Processes & Materials in Large Scale Concrete Printing

Metal Parts Produced
Commercial Space
Medical Devices

Share this Article

Yi Wei Daniel Tay of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University recently submitted a thesis, ‘Large scale 3D concrete printing : process and materials properties,’ exploring the potential for more progressive techniques and materials in the construction industry.

This research examines the need for good flow in concrete ink, along with challenges in finding the correct printing parameters for performance and quality products. Ultimately, pumpability, layer adhesiveness, and buildability are critical elements as well, with all these features being explored during the fabrication of a large-scale sample—along with the option of refining the need for formwork via 3D printing.

(a) Poor balance between travel speed and flow rate (b) proper balance
between travel speed and flow rate

Not only is pouring concrete in formworks for temporary support a labor intensive process, it is also more expensive; in fact, as Tay notes, formwork comprises 40 to 60 percent of the cost of a concrete frame, and ten percent of the overall building expenses.

Tay realizes the benefits of 3D printing in construction:

  • Shorter building times
  • Cheaper construction
  • Less human labor
  • Reduced material waste
  • Greater latitude in design
  • Better potential for integration of functionality

“All these reductions are eventually translated to cost-saving, which compel the exploration of using 3D printing in construction for structural with customized complex geometries,” stated Tay.

Worldwide, 3D printing with concrete is garnering interest—leading to a variety of different projects and studies, from reinforcement of concrete walls to developing and using fiber additives, to experimenting with progressive new techniques. Methods for 3D printing with concrete continue to grow, to include:

  • Binder jetting
  • Material deposition method
  • Contour crafting
  • Curved-bed printing
  • Mesh mold

“3D concrete printing can be a complicated process, especially if the requirements are not clear. The printing parameters and material properties should be tailored to fulfil the project requirements such as cost and duration,” explained Tay. “With the printing path and speed established, the vertical loading stress can be determined. This vertical stress can be compared with the yield stress of the mixture to determine if it is suitable for printing.

Contour crafting using (a) ceramic and (b) cement material

Concrete printing at Loughborough University

Mesh-mould combines formwork and reinforcement system for concrete

The use of suitable materials is critical, as researchers continually seeking more sustainable options, to include:

  • High volume fly ash concrete
  • Geopolymers
  • Recycled glass aggregates

For this study, graded concrete material was created by varying the printing parameters. As the effects were studied, Tay discovered that both flow and travel speed have enormous impact on filament and dimensions.

“The main advantage of having a functionally graded structure is the reduction in material and the decrease in printing speed as the support structure region uses less material and help to reduce printing time,” concludes the author. “This shows that through topology optimization, this functionally graded material can be manufactured to produce a structure that has improved performance compared to the un-optimized structure.”

Robotic arm printer used for large scale printing

“The future of construction is most likely to be an integrated process that allows the organization to take advantage of both conventional and additive manufacturing technologies. With rapid urbanization in many developing countries, there is an urgent need to come up with clever ideas that optimize the sustainable performance of the buildings that we live and work in. Regulators also play a significant role in sustainable construction by creating the right incentives for companies that choose to build in a sustainable way.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images:  ‘Large scale 3D concrete printing : process and materials properties’]

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: October 17, 2021

3D Printing News Briefs, October 16, 2021: STEM, 3D Printing Patents, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

Honda and WASP Partner for Sustainable 3D Printed Motorcycle Models

After delivering highly publicized 3D printed habitats, helping create commercial drones, and even providing technology for the Italian police to solve crimes, 3D printer manufacturer WASP announced the results of...

Featured

Divergent Now Has Six 12-Laser Metal 3D Printers to Produce its Supercars

Divergent Technologies, well-known for its 3D printed contributions to the automotive industry, announced that it has developed what it calls the “state-of-the-art” Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS®), an end-to-end digital...

3D Printing News Briefs, October 13, 2021: Metal 3D Printing, Prostheses, & More

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, ExOne and SSI are working together to drive volume production with metal binder jet 3D printing, and RadTech has announced a new photopolymer AM...

New Metal 3D Printer from AddUp Installed at Ohio State’s Manufacturing Center

AddUp, Inc., an industrial metal additive manufacturing OEM that was established by French companies Michelin and Fives as a joint venture, offers both Directed Energy Deposition (DED) and Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) printers,...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.