Despite much recent hype around construction-scale 3D printing, these techniques have been slow to deliver commercial capability even within niche markets. This is in contrast to 3D printing technologies, which are finding applications in the aerospace and medical industries all the way through to jewellery and figurines. Despite the slow start for construction 3D printing there is however significant potential for these techniques within construction industry. Inquisitive and experimental designers are increasingly using sophisticated digital tools to develop complex 3D buildings and sculptural object designs, pushing the boundaries of what can be built. This is resulting in significant challenges for builders to fabricate and build these designs efficiently, especially with concrete. There is also a growing ethical and commercial requirement to create more with less, to use materials only where they are needed, to enable material recycling and to embed objects with greater capability. The FreeFab project is focused on shifting this paradigm with the development of a fabrication technique that produces energy efficient, low waste, fast and cost effective formwork. This chapter describes the development and testing of a novel robotically controlled wax 3D printing system and the software that drives it.
Keywords3D printing Robotic Parametric Precast concrete Construction
- Beorkrem C (2013) Material strategies in digital fabrication. Routledge, NYGoogle Scholar
- Brell-Cokcan S, Braumann J (2010) A new parametric design tool for robot milling. In: Paper presented at the 30th annual conference of the association for computer aided design in architecture (ACADIA), New York, pp 357–363Google Scholar
- Gardiner JB (2011) Exploring the emerging design territory of construction 3D printing—project led architectural research In: PhD thesis, RMIT University, Melbourne, pp 362–364Google Scholar
- Khoshnevis B (1996) Additive fabrication apparatus and method. US Patent 08/382,869Google Scholar
- Maeda N (1999) Method for manufacturing concrete product. Japanese Patent 2001-105420Google Scholar
- Manseau A, Seaden G (ed) (2001) Innovation in construction: an international review of public policies. Taylor & Francis Books Ltd, New YorkGoogle Scholar