Jul 6, 2018 | By Thomas

Scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has launched a new program, AM.NUS Construction 3D Printing Program to quicken the selection of 3D printing building technology in the construction industry. The program, spearheaded by the School of Design and Environment at NUS and supported by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), will develop sustainable materials and 3D printing designs to facilitate rapid mass production of building structures.

This construction 3D program will aim to revolutionize the construction industry to bring about greater efficiency and cost savings, as well as improved building structures and eco-friendliness with better building designs and materials. In more precise terms, the new AM.NUS Construction 3D Printing Program will establish an ecosystem of construction 3D printing capabilities in Singapore through forefront research and collaborations with the industry. The program will provide training on construction 3D printing to NUS students and industry partners, as well as organise events such as conferences and workshops in the construction 3D printing space to encourage knowledge sharing in the area.

In addition, NUS has established a construction 3D printing laboratory which will house Singapore’s largest gantry type concrete 3D printer. The technology will be employed to test novel building designs and materials with the aim to develop concrete structures that can be easily mass produced by 3D printing in a sustainable manner.

The AM.NUS Construction 3D Printing Programme and Laboratory were launched at the International Conference on Construction 3D printing held at NUS from 5 to 6 July 2018. At the conference, the School of Design and Environment also signed a MoU with a local construction firm, Yosen Advanced Digital Construction and Manufacturing Pte Ltd to pursue additive manufacturing and construction.

The AM.NUS Construction 3D Printing Program has since embarked on two research projects in the field.

3D printed toilet units to improve sanitation in India

The first is a 3D printed toilet project carried out in partnership with the NAMIC and Hamilton Labs, a company specializing in 3D printing construction to accelerate the production of toilet units in India and improve sanitation in the country.

Researchers have developed a novel toilet unit design that can be 3D printed in under five hours, which currently takes a day to build manually. The new toilet unit is also 25 per cent cheaper to produce by 3D printing. The toilets, which is made with Hamilton’s robotic HamilBot Mark 1 3D printer using a recycled cement mix, will be used in the Madhubani and Darbhanga districts in Bihar. The researchers will also look into incorporating recycled materials in the concrete used to construct these toilets in the next phase.

Each toilet unit is made up of 12 smaller modules which can be transported to the destination where the toilet unit will be assembled and installed. The unique but simple design makes it easier for workers to complete the assembly and installation.

World’s first 3D printed volumetric formwork

The second project is the development of the world’s first 3D printed volumetric formwork for bathroom units. Formworks for concrete constructions are traditionally made with steel or timber and currently, it takes almost a day to complete the construction of a typical HDB bathroom unit. The new formwork, which replaces steel and timber with a polymer, could potentially construct up to 24 bathroom units in a day with the use of semi-automated production line. The researchers are now working with local authorities and a local firm to advance the project.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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