With the aim of increasing the list further of objects that can be created by 3D printing, a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a new system that can print the basic framework of a complete building. The structures constructed with this system can be manufactured rapidly and cost effectively in comparison to the conventional construction techniques, as per the team.
Associate Professor, Neri Oxman, Media Arts and Sciences, said, “The system is proposed to be autonomous. It is provided with a scoop that can be utilized to make the surface of the building as well as obtain local materials, including dirt for a rammed-earth structure, for the creation itself.
The complete system can be functioned electrically or even motorized by solar panels. The design is such that it can be implemented to remote areas; for instance, to the regions for relief from calamity after an earthquake or major storm, to offer durable protection quickly, or in developing the world.
The eventual visualization, according to Steven Keating, is to have something completely self-sufficient in the future that could be even sent to Mars or Moon or Antarctica. This will just go and construct these structures for years.
The system involves a tracked vehicle that bears a huge, industrial robotic arm that has at its end a tiny, precision-motion robotic arm. This extremely controllable arm could then be utilized to instruct any construction nozzle, for example, the one utilized for spraying insulation material or pouring concrete, as well as surplus digital fabrication end effectors.
In contrast to the usual 3D printing systems, a majority of which utilize some sort of a flanked, fixed arrangement to hold their nozzles and are restricted to building structures that can be placed within the overall enclosed space, this freely moving device can create a structure of any size according to the researchers.
As a proof of concept, the team utilized a trial product to construct the basic framework of the walls of a 12-foot high dome and 50-foot diameter; this was the project that was accomplished in less than 14 hours of printing duration.