Advanced Intelligent Construction Technology (AICT) has just announced the founding of a robotics-based intelligent construction technology company in the United States. AICT used 3D printing to create a public park to demonstrate the possibilities of the technology this company will employ in the construction industry.
Xu Weiguo, a professor at the Tsinghua University School of Architecture, led the technical support team and said of the project, “As a form of intelligent construction, 3D printing concrete construction technology boasts great advantages.”
One of the unique benefits of 3D-printed concrete is that it doesn’t require formwork, which is time-consuming to set up and usually made from wood, which is wasted after use. AICT’s 3D method prints concrete in the required places calculated by an algorithm, which saves on concrete overage waste. Sand for concrete can be locally sourced to reduce carbon emissions from transport.
Here’s how it works. AICT’s 3D printing technology uses a lighter, modular six-axis robotic arm rather than a heavy, conventional three-axis, large-scale gantry. The system uses proprietary building concrete, which can outperform traditional concrete with a wide variety of shapes at no additional cost to save money on planning, design and materials. With the robotic arm doing the heavy lifting, workers on-site can enjoy a safer and easier job.
The plan is to create homes and buildings with this new construction method. The technology can also be made available to create more public works and parks.
“Compared with reinforced concrete, 3D printing is relatively cheap, since the building simulation stage will solve technical problems in advance and come up with the optimum construction method,” Xu said. Look for solutions like 3D printing to come to multiple industries over the next decade, including parks, public plazas, industrial applications, and home construction. There may even be some small-scale applications in health tech.
Images via AICT