Fabricating construction components using layer manufacturing technology

Lim, Sungwoo; Le, Thanh; Webster, John; Buswell, Richard; Austin, Simon; Gibb, Alistair and Thorpe, Tony (2009). Fabricating construction components using layer manufacturing technology. In: Global Innovation in Construction Conference 2009 (GICC’09), 13-16 Sep 2009, Loughborough University.


Building 3D objects directly from CAD data using purpose built machines is a technique known as Rapid Manufacturing and these processes allow great freedom in the design of the geometry of the manufactured component. These machines build components by selectively depositing or initiating the phase change of a material, bonding sequential layers together. Traditional processes are either subtractive or formative in nature, whereas these methods are additive. Niche markets for these processes are continually developing and they challenge conventional methods of design and procurement. The work presented in this paper reports on recent developments in scaling up these process to create complex construction scale components. The work here discussed the development of the approach and preliminary components have been manufactured with different nozzle diameters. The results to date are promising although increasing the deposition precision will improve the quality of the built parts.

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