Jul 11, 2017 | By David

We’ve reported several times before on the possibilities that 3D printing presents for the future of architecture. The huge flexibility in terms of design and the cheapness of materials, as well as the speed of the production process, means that many examples can be found of 3D printing methods used in the construction of buildings. Public housing in particular is a sector where the innovations of the technology have started to be implemented, particularly in more progressive countries such as Singapore and Sweden. This trend looks to be continuing, with the announcement of a new construction project in Nyborg, Denmark, that will make use of 3D printed elements.

(credit: http://en.danmarksrigeshjerte.dk)

The design for the project is a result of a collaboration between the municipality of Nyborg and architect Ivan Moltke. Moltke spent two decades at the Danish Technological Institute before founding Create.dk, a pioneering architectural collective. Its projects are for both private and public clients, and they are intended to stimulate sensuality and creativity through architecture. New technologies like 3D printing form the core of its strategy.

(credit: Create.dk)

Aside from Create.dk, companies with experience of 3D printing in construction are rare in Denmark, so to help out with this groundbreaking development, which is the first of its kind in the country, Dutch university TU Eindhoven has also been enlisted. TU Eindhoven is one of the world leaders in research into 3D printing concrete techniques. The university has an advanced research program entitled 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP), which is run by the chair of Concrete Structures of the Structural Design Unit, in close collaboration with the chair of Innovative Structural Design and chair of Architectural Design and Engineering.

(credit: www.tue.nl)

Their work aims to establish 3D printing of concrete as a viable new construction method, and to understand more fundamentally how it can be improved and how it can be implemented in the industry. A specially designed 3D concrete printer is used by the team to help further their research, and the expertise that they have developed over the years will be crucial to the success of Nyborg and Moltke’s new project.

(credit: www.tue.nl)

The building that is planned for Nyborg is a small apartment of around 30m2, intended for young people to live in. The walls and ceilings of the apartment will be made from concrete parts, designed and produced using 3D printing technology. Although he has high hopes for 3D printing in the future of construction, Moltke is still unconvinced of the suitability of the technology as it is today. He recognizes the success of 3D printing in other industries, but believes that this project will require a mix of the new and the traditional. "In the construction we will see a combination of flexible sliding formwork and 3D printing’’, he says, "but what actually is the right solution is yet to be seen’’.

(credit: businessinsider.com)

Plans for the project haven’t yet been finalized, and once they are there are still a few more stages before they can be put into action. The Green Economy Committee of Nyborg needs to approve the plans, as does the Finance Committee. If the plans receive this approval, though, we could see Denmark’s first 3D printing-enabled building by October of this year. While conventional methods of construction are still crucial for larger-scale projects, it's definitely encouraging to see 3D printing trialed on a small scale such as this. As a growing population in many countries means that housing will become more and more of an issue, the cost-saving, custom-built solutions offered by 3D technology could soon have more of an appeal.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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