MIT Developing 3D-printing Technology to Create Building Structure

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Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are on their way to create a 3D-printing technology that can generate a basic building structure. As per the researchers, it will take less time to build structures leveraging the 3D-printing technology and even cost less than traditional constructions. Other advantages accorded by the technology are customizable designs and shaping of complicated forms otherwise tough to manufacture.

Further, researchers say, the internal structure can be changed in various ways and various materials can be incorporated as the process progresses. Different material densities can be experimented with in the course of the process to gauge optimum combinations of insulation, strength, and other properties.

How does the process work?

The process is carried out by leveraging a large, industrial robotic arm along with smaller, precision-motion robotic arm which is fixed to a movable track. The arm, which can be controlled to a great degree, can function as a typical construction nozzle to pour concrete or spray insulation. It can also find application for digital fabrication with a milling head. The system is known as Digital Construction Platform (DCP).

According to Neri Oxman, the group director of the project, the 3D-printing technology is more than a printer for it facilitates conceiving about the building architecture using a whole new method.

Although still being tested, the DCP’s most remarkable practical accomplishment so far is a dome which is 50 foot wide and built from the inside from stock-insulating foam spray. The foam spray is just for testing and ultimately researchers plan to use locally sourced materials.

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