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Lightweight Construction

Danish researchers refine 3D printing in the construction industry

The more economical use of concrete should enable lighter products. Scientists in Denmark have developed a new printing process for this purpose.

28 Sep. 2018
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Danish researchers refine 3D printing in the construction industry (Photo: KADK/DTI)

The new hybrid construction process is called SCRIM, which stands for Sparse Concrete Reinforcement in Meshworks. It was developed by the Center for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Danish Technological Institute . The scientists describe their development in a PDF on Research Gate .

According to the researchers, conventional 3D printing processes are limited because they usually stack the material vertically. Problems arise when reinforcements have to be integrated. The researchers therefore combined robot-based 3D concrete pressure with nets made of carbon fiber reinforced polymers. The nets are first formed into the desired shape and then a robot uses 3D printing to apply the concrete. SCRIM uses concrete only where it is truly needed. This allows lighter structures while reducing the amount of material needed. With the support of robots, it is even possible to print vertical and horizontal constructions.