The construction industry has been abuzz with new technologies recently. Previously, we heard of Russian company Apis Core building houses in Dubai over the course of a single day. Now, we have Barcelona’s recent forays into combining multiple technologies for new models in construction. This new project combines drone tech, 3D printing robots and sustainable materials into a promising new method for building houses. The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and Tecnalia are co-developing this project they have dubbed “On Site Robotics”.
You can see the process in action below:
3D Printing and Robotics
On Site Robotics presents itself as a revolutionary new means of combining 3D printing with newly developed technologies into an all-encompassing construction method. While many previous projects have used newer technologies like 3D printing, they haven’t employed them in quite the same way. One of the core differences is in how the company incorporated robotics and printing.
To increase the print area, they are using cable-based robot printers. A comprehensive look at a similar system can be found on this science direct link. The 6 degree system basically gives them far more freedom to print models. The 3D printer’s extruder is controlled by Cogiro, a cable-driven parallel robot with automated CNC control. The cables operated with easily assembled servo-controlled winches that regulate the movement.
To keep track of construction, the company has employed the use of miniature drones to monitor the state of the construction. IAAC and Tecnalia have fitted the drones with multi-spectral cameras that autonomously keep an eye on the production process. Aside from viewing the progress the drones can also supply thermal imaging to survey the levels of dryness or moisture in the construction process.
Another aspect worth noting is that the materials used for construction. The main construction material was a clay-like printing material composed of natural, biodegradable, recyclable, and locally sourced materials. As a result, it was 100% bio-degradable.
Since this material was a prototype, the team are now busy developing an even stronger cement-like material. Originally, the company created the material of their pylos project, a previous research endeavour based on developing new mixes for building materials.
Featured Image Courtesy of iaac.net