Applications of 3D Printing in Construction

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3D printing is now being widely used to print small plastic, 3-dimensional objects from digital files. A large number of useful household objects can already be printed, but extending the scope of 3D printing to larger objects and different materials can have a significant impact on local production of building materials, including the shells of houses themselves. For the case of the Seed Eco-Home, we are particularly interested in 3D printing of multiwall, polycarbonate glazing for the Aquaponic Greenhouse, plumbing parts, and even fence posts - all of which can be printed from commonly-available, recycled plastic. This provides new opportunities to close material cycles using local manufacturing. The cost savings for the Seed Eco-Home can be in the thousands of dollars. This webinar covers these opportunities - including the production rates possible using widely-available, open source technology. We will also cover the current 3D printer development of OSE, and how this is intended to contribute to the next build of the Seed Eco-Home.

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Other Techniques

  • 3D Print lattice cores that are filled with standard construction materials such as concrete [1]. For example, imagine soil cement fill or concrete fill.
  • 3D Printed Foundation Forms - for post and beam. Auger a 2' diameter hole, and insert a form, bury it, fill with concrete. Form is interlocking to make long structures, and has attachment points for rebar s that rebar is included readily in the forms. Then pour with concrete. Good for flared-at-the-bottom stem walls and pier foundations which use very small amounts of concrete as concrete placement is optimized without having to spend excessive labor on formwork.