SAEA members discussed the pros and cons of 3D Printing in construction, an additive manufacturing process of joining materials together, integrating material development, design and manufacturing.
3D Printing presents many advantages for construction, including reduced cost and quicker construction. However, as a newer development, there are still some challenges. For example, the 3D printable concrete needs to be Fluid enough to flow through the nozzle but Solid enough to withstand its own weight and the weight of additional layers.
In large scale construction, the following issues may arise:
-lack of vertical reinforcement
-jamming in the extruder head
-gaps in extrusion, tears in layers
-binding between layers (cold joints)
-environmental control (e.g. dry shrinkage)
SAEA members look forward to following the development of concrete 3D printing within the industry as more standard specifications and committee work advances in ACI and other concrete related organizations.