Initial Developments and Projections of 3D Construction Printing
3D Construction Printing is a novel technology to elaborate building parts by material deposition. This technique is emerging through several university and entrepreneurial initiatives, mostly in developed countries. Some exploratory buildings and/or pieces have been created and diverse companies plan to execute large constructions. This article aims to review architectural and urban projections of this technology based on these experiences and initial tests and developments in Concepción, Chile. Supplies and equipment has been collected and a number of concrete printing trials has been carried out. Additionally, parametric programming of 3D-printed walls is being developed in a BIM platform in order to generate and evaluate architectural models. Also, a robotic installation is being set-up with the support of a national program on building productivity, research centers and industrial companies. The material tests have demonstrated the feasibility of construction printing with local materials, in addition to an important reduction in the time and resources needed to produce pieces with different shapes, although this process does require automation, structural verification and large-scale execution. The parametric programming in BIM shows the integration of the design-to-construction process, in addition to versatility and optimization of architectural designs. The planning of an industrial installation expresses the convergence of different stakeholders in this technology and a particular interest in to develop local supplies and machines. These activities and other experiences suggest the impact of 3D construction printing on the emergence of new manufacturing systems for buildings, that impels an architecture of curved profiles and appealing spaces that can become part of the real-estate market as experimental neighborhoods and/or iconic buildings, related to new social trends.
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