Arup's’ research into alternative production techniques and materials has focused on the potential of 3D printing metal in the construction sector. Complex and individually designed steel structural elements can be efficiently produced “resulting in endless possibilities in mass customisation, weight reduction, product integration and more.”
Working with the Anglo-Dutch company 3Dealise, their 3D-printed sand molds are used in the traditional casting process to create sophisticated, unique structural steel nodes as a certified material. Sand printing offers a quick technique that can reuse the materials and allows costs to be kept low.
3D printing/additive manufacturing (AM) in the building industry has extreme potential; smaller structural elements produced this way can carry the same structural forces and loads as standard elements due to their irregular shape whilst cutting waste and minimising carbon footprint.
Arup's new manufacturing method is in response to their 3D printing technique for structural steel which formed the metal structure layer by layer. By incorporating the 3D printing process earlier into the production, it avoids the relatively high costs and difficulties associated with using 3D printers at that scale.
The aim is to make the most of the freedom-of-form opportunities of 3D-printing without the limitations which are now still considered with production - Salomé Galjaard, Senior Designer, Arup.
Arup will be presenting their research into sand printing and cast steel at the TCT Show, a world leading event in 3D printing in Birmingham from the 26th to 28th of September.
News via: Arup.
A team lead by Arup has developed a method of designing and 3D Printing steel joints which will significantly reduce the time and cost needed to make complex nodes in tensile structures. Their research is being touted as "a whole new direction for the use of additive manufacturing" which provides a way of taking 3D printing "firmly into the realm of real-world, hard hat construction."