3D Printing is something that has been around for a couple of years now. As the technology has progressed, 3D concrete printing has become a reality for our generation. The thought of 3D printing concrete houses and structures is not only a genius idea but also a pretty insane one. As you can imagine, this invention saves gobs of time and essentially does the base of the work for you. With that being said, let’s take a deeper look into the world of 3D concrete printing.
How Does It Work?
Many concrete structures are built layer by layer. Doing so allows for the strongest overall base and foundation. Because this is true, 3D printing engineers decided to design a large scale 3D printer which uses concrete as the material. To begin the process, computer engineers begin by designing the overall layout of the structure. This is done in a special program on a computer. After the design is complete, the computer design is converted over to the printer and it begins working. The printer pours a single layer of concrete at a time on top of itself. Over time, the building begins to take a 3D shape until finally it is finished.
Midway through the pouring process, workers may pause the 3D printer so that they can install components into the wall. Such components and fixtures consist of water piping, electricity, etc. Once everything is installed into the walls, the 3D can finish the pouring process. The fact that the printer uses a layer-by-layer technique allows it to build entirely around the segments inside the walls.
3D concrete printed buildings are surprisingly strong considering that they rely entirely on concrete for support and foundation. In fact, they are often described as being tornado resistant. On top of all of the things we have discussed regarding 3D concrete printing, one of the most notable benefits of using this method is that it is a huge time saver. In fact, a 3D concrete printed structure can be completed in 48 hours whereas a structure that size would take months to complete using traditional methods. The fact that this innovation has cut down so much on the time needed to build a home or building is the reason why 3D concrete printing is going to be very prominent in the future.
Curing is an important part of all concrete works. When concrete is first laid out, it is a liquid-like mixture. The water inside the concrete mix interacts with certain chemicals, causing the end product to harden up dramatically. The rate at which concrete is dried can affect the overall strength of the hardened concrete. There is a specific way that concrete is supposed to be dried so that it can be of proper strength. According to www.nrmca.org, the temperature of drying concrete should be maintained at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Anything less than this temperature could prevent proper bonding of materials and in the end, a weaker product.
When 3D printing concrete, curing the concrete is essential to ensure the proper strength of the structure. Because this method is far from traditional, the structure has to be supported in a different kind of way. Relying totally on the concrete means that such a building needs to be durable and strong. A lack of curing can result in up to a 50% reduction in strength, so you can see why this is important.
Hopefully, this article has given you good insight regarding the world of 3D concrete printing. The idea is actually very interesting, regardless of whether or not you are into engineering work. In the end, it is likely that 3D concrete printing will pave the future.