Sustainable Thin-Shell 3D Printed Formwork for Concrete
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With the growth in popularity of 3D printing technologies, machinery is getting cheaper, while the variety of available materials is growing larger. However, 3D printing strategies for realizing architecture are still in their infancy. Direct 3D printing of building components is a very challenging task, as most printing technologies are, until now, not able to address the demanding requirements of architectural components, including scale or structural capacity.
The conventional way of creating formwork for non-standard, concrete components is very labour intensive and until today, can be more than 50% of the cost of casting concrete. This research addresses this very topic by proposing a sustainable, 3D printed formwork for casting concrete, combining the advancements of computation and digital fabrication with the traditional way of constructing large concrete components.
It aims in the creation of dissolvable, 3D printed formwork that can be simply washed away after the curing process of concrete, using only water and no additional chemical solvent. Introducing such a process, it enables to create bespoke, full-scale structural components, without compromising the complexity of form or surface quality.
Keywords3D printing Concrete formwork Dissolvable formwork
The authors would like to thank a number of partners and collaborators whose dedication helped us fulfil the research described in this paper. Besides our industry partner we would like to thank Marirena Kladeftira, Mathias Bernhard, Andrei Jipa, Julius Hatt and Leander Pepper for all their contributions during this research.
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