Robots and 3D printing, the builders of tomorrow?

MiniBuildersThe images have made around the world. A Chinese businessman who built 10 houses in 24 hours thanks to 3D printing. A huge printer that produced the prefabricated panel from recycled materials. Cost of amounts less than $ 5,000 for a 200 m2 House, if one is not looking at the finish, the case is unbeatable. It may be possible to do better, much better. The Spaniards of the IAAC proposes a more ambitious approach: combining Robotics and 3D printing.

Giant 3D printer or a myriad of robot-printers?

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To achieve his feat, Ma Yihe de Yingchuang New Materials has resorted to a 3D printer large format. 10 m x 6.6 m x 150 m, 3D printer, it is the plant itself. Approach totally opposite from that of the researchers at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia: IAAC. Also believe in 3D printing as a technology of the future for the building, but the MiniBuilders project team adopted a radically different approach. Rather than building a giant 3D printer, these were designed robots of small size which, designed to work in a group may produce on the ground building geometry and size not limited by the printer 3D itself.
7The Minibuilders team has designed 3 types of robots 3D printing. The first built the base walls, the second enhance them up to the desired height, the third is able to mount vertically to ensure finishes. These three Minirobots are controlled and powered a master robot in concrete. For the moment, it is that of prototypes, the main robot has only to an Arduino board as “brain” and, according to the presented videos, that controls a robot at a time. One can imagine in the future of the myriads of small robots, all controlled and coordinated by a robotic head of work too.

Sources :

“These Cute Little Drones Could 3-D Print a House”, Wired, June26, 2014
“The 3D printing revolution: Architects promise anything from a new floor to an entire skyscraper”, TheIndependant, June 19 2014
“Giant 3D printer creates 10 full-sized houses in a DAY: Bungalows built from layers of waste materials cost less than £3,000 each”, DailyMail, April 28, 2014
“Chinese firm 3D prints 10 full-sized homes in a day – Video”, ConstructionEnquirer, April 28, 2014

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