Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

3D Concrete Printing: an innovative construction process

Technology

Welcome to the Freeform Construction project, based in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University

Modern Architecture is demanding more and more from the design of buildings and we are now reaching a point where these designs cannot be realised using current state-of-the-art construction technologies. New developments in construction manufacturing technology are needed.

Additive manufacturing techniques are able to build physical objects directly from computer generated instructions, which means that you can create complicated shapes that cannot be manufactured by conventional processes. The machines that translate the coded instructions into a real object produce quite small components and are often used for prototyping new products as part of the design process.

These machines can be used to solve some of the complexity issues found in construction if they can be scaled up to produce massive parts out of appropriate material. Concrete Printing is one such process and uses a type of concrete that is deposited very precisely under computer control.

Potential applications include: Doubly-curved cladding panels; complex structural components; Architectural components; working in hazardous environments.

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