Printing Architecture: an overview of existing and promising additive manufacturing methods and their application in the building industry

R.N.P. van Woensel, T. van Oirschot, M.J.H. Burgmans, M. Mohammadi, K. Hermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an emerging technology, already used in different fields. The ability to create complex, large-scale components without expensive molds and much labor makes it an interesting technology. However, the application in building construction is still in its research and development phase. This article will therefore compare and explain the state-of-the-art AM methods and investigate their possibilities in the building industry. After conducting a literature study, a distinction can be made between larger-scale and smaller-scale AM methods. The large-scale methods have been developed mostly for load-bearing prefab components and on-site building construction. Smaller-scale methods with a smaller layer thickness have proven to be effective at printing detailed and complex building components and objects such as façade elements and joints. These methods are, however, often limited in their materials, requiring further development. In the near future, AM is expected to complement existing building construction techniques by making objects otherwise more difficult or inefficient to create. These include, for example, double-curved walls/components, structural elements that have been designed by topological optimization, and functionally graded materials. In the future, AM could possibly be used as a full on-site building construction technique, printing entire buildings that suit our functional requirements.
LanguageEnglish
Pages57-81
Number of pages23
JournalThe International Journal of the Constructed Environment
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

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3D printers
Printing
Industry
Bearings (structural)
Functionally graded materials
Facades
Molds
Loads (forces)
Personnel

Cite this

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title = "Printing Architecture: an overview of existing and promising additive manufacturing methods and their application in the building industry",
abstract = "Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an emerging technology, already used in different fields. The ability to create complex, large-scale components without expensive molds and much labor makes it an interesting technology. However, the application in building construction is still in its research and development phase. This article will therefore compare and explain the state-of-the-art AM methods and investigate their possibilities in the building industry. After conducting a literature study, a distinction can be made between larger-scale and smaller-scale AM methods. The large-scale methods have been developed mostly for load-bearing prefab components and on-site building construction. Smaller-scale methods with a smaller layer thickness have proven to be effective at printing detailed and complex building components and objects such as fa{\cc}ade elements and joints. These methods are, however, often limited in their materials, requiring further development. In the near future, AM is expected to complement existing building construction techniques by making objects otherwise more difficult or inefficient to create. These include, for example, double-curved walls/components, structural elements that have been designed by topological optimization, and functionally graded materials. In the future, AM could possibly be used as a full on-site building construction technique, printing entire buildings that suit our functional requirements.",
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Printing Architecture : an overview of existing and promising additive manufacturing methods and their application in the building industry. / van Woensel, R.N.P.; van Oirschot, T.; Burgmans, M.J.H.; Mohammadi, M.; Hermans, K.

In: The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Vol. 9, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 57-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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