Thursday, August 06, 2015

How 3D Printing Robots are set to Transform the Construction Industry, the news website for Overseas Property Professionals, had a random article about robotic 3D printing.

Understanding the architectural 3D printing field means understanding the different methods available for architectural 3D printing. Here the article outlines a technology offered by MX3D which utilizes a robotic arm with a printer head on it. The problem I see with the size of the arm is that it might not easily scale to the size of a building. However, I believe the strength of this product lays in its utilization of different materials and in the execution of fine details in architectural features.

How I’d really like robots to integrate with 3D printing is with Virtual Construction, sometimes called 4D CAD, which is an extension of BIM (building information modeling). Here the building model facilitates advanced construction planning and this will be especially true if future robots can use the model info to coordinate their movements during the assembly of the structure. An early example of what this might look like can already been seen with some steel erection on jobs for big international developers with humans taking the role of the robots but still having their duties coordinated by virtual construction planning. Remember you heard it here first: Blending two technologies, using drones to assemble the 3D printed segments is the next step in construction innovation.

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