Arup Shows Off Cutting Edge of 3D Printing Construction

Share this Article

Back in1946, the philosopher and engineer Ove Arup opened a consulting engineering practice in London, and Arup became well-known for his firm’s collaborations with the leading and avant-garde architects of the day. In 1976, Arup cemented his reputation with the completion of the Sydney Opera House project. Noted for a wide breadth of expertise in offshore engineering, acoustics, façade construction, and skills in blast, risk, and seismic engineering, he and his company even designed transport containers for nuclear waste.

Traditionally welded and fabricated part on the left as compared to the additively manufactured versions on the right.  All three pieces have the same structural strength.

Traditionally welded and fabricated part on the left as compared to the additively manufactured versions on the right.  All three pieces have the same structural strength.

Arup engineers are continuing that legacy by pushing the boundaries of 3D printing for construction.

One of their most recent innovations, using the latest additive manufacturing techniques to design critical structural steel components for complex architectural projects, signals a new wave in the use of 3D design in construction and engineering. The company’s research has identified opportunities to reduce costs, waste, and the carbon footprint associated with construction processes.

Kurilpa Bridge

Kurilpa Bridge

And it’s not the first time Arup has used their experience to create challenging structures. The company cites the “tensegrity” work they did on the Kurilpa Bridge in Australia, with its wildly complex geometry, as an example of the nodes they’ve built that showcase the possibilities of AM.

“By using additive manufacturing we can create lots of complex individually designed pieces far more efficiently,” says Salomé Galjaard, a team leader for Arup. “This has tremendous implications for reducing costs and cutting waste. But most importantly, this approach potentially enables a very sophisticated design, without the need to simplify the design in a later stage to lower costs.”

Salome Galjaard

Salomé Galjaard

Arup recently funded development work on a collaborative project with a number of partners to realize their latest component designs. Working alongside WithinLab – an engineering design software and consulting company – CRDM 3D Systems, and EOS, the company found it was possible to create structural objects which feature a significant weight reduction over previous designs.

These structural elements are designed and built with the very latest optimization and manufacturing methods.

“In the case of this particular piece, the height is approximately half that of one designed for traditional production methods, while the direct weight reduction per node is 75%,” Galjaard says. “On a construction project, that means we could be looking at an overall weight reduction of the total structure of more than 40%. But the really exciting part is that this technique can potentially be applied to any industry that uses complex, high quality, metal products.”

Galjaard says the potential impact of the techniques has tremendous implications, and it allows Arup and their team to build far smaller, lighter elements aruwhich can deliver the same function and strength as those created by traditional methods.

“We have been working on this for some time now and we’re really excited about how fast we’re progressing,” said Galjaard. “We’re really pushing the boundaries here.”

If you’d like to read a groundbreaking work on the subject of ‘tensegrity’ and geometric design elements, you can check out a fascinating piece on the subject by cosmologist, architect, and engineer R. Buckminster Fuller.

What do you think of the work of Arup and Salomé Galjaard to push the boundaries of architecture and construction? Let us know in the Cutting Edge of 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some of the 3D printed pieces, below, designed by Arup engineers.

 

Arup 3D printed structural building components _DJL2172

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Researchers Use Autodesk Ember 3D Printer to Characterize 3D Printed Lenses

‘3D Printing in Medical Libraries’ Offers Great Advice for Librarians & Users Too



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

BASF Continues Momentum in 3D Printing with BigRep and Farsoon Partnerships, Expansion into Asia Pacific

Global chemical company BASF, headquartered in Germany, knows that setting up partnerships with other innovative companies is key to getting ahead in the 3D printing industry. In November, BASF 3D Printing...

Step Inside Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory With Virtual Tours of Facility’s 3D Printing Labs and the World’s Biggest Laser

Some of the most interesting work being done with technology today takes place at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Located in Livermore, California, the researchers at LLNL have been responsible for...

Eight-Year-Old Michigan Boy with Moebius Syndrome Receives 3D Printed Hand from CMU’s MakerBot Innovation Center

Austin Brittain is a sophomore at Central Michigan University. And it goes to show that you never know what’s going to happen when you walk into class on any given...

The Reports of 3D Printing’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain   Like most, I revel in the idea of an argument I can win, so when our editor-in-chief asked...


Shop

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


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!