With the aim of generating a significant impact on the responsible and sustainable consumption of resources and energy in the construction industry, ETH Zürich in collaboration with FenX AG is using foam 3D printing (F3DP) to manufacture geometrically complex formwork for the construction of special elements in concrete.
These foam forms can be used as permanent applications or can be removed and recycled to print new forms, avoiding the usual waste associated with such complex shapes. "The resulting mineral composite elements can save up to 70% concrete, are lighter, and have improved insulation properties."
To test its performance, the team created a prototype with the generic geometry of a 2 x 1.3 m ribbed slab with point supports at each corner: "The rib design follows the isostatic lines derived from the main stress pattern. The resulting geometry requires 24 formwork elements in 12 unique shapes. "
As its creators explain, "All foam elements are manufactured with a robotic foam 3D printing configuration (F3DP). They are manually placed inside a conventional wood perimeter formwork before casting the ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC). After curing, the wooden formwork is removed from the prototype and the structural building element is completed. "
Read more about this innovation here.