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09 Jun 2017


MIT Researchers create 3D printer capable of printing buildings
BY Lauren Heath-Jones

MIT Researchers create 3D printer capable of printing buildings

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced a new breakthrough in the architectural applications of 3D printing, with the design of a system that can produce the basic structure of an entire building.

MIT’s Mediated Matter Group claim that the machine they have invented will eventually produce buildings faster than traditional construction methods.

What’s more, a structure could be customised to the needs of a particular site, with different materials and densities incorporated to provide optimum combinations of strength and insulation.

The Digital Construction Platform (DCP), consists of a tracked vehicle that carries an industrial robotic arm, with a smaller, precision-motion robotic arm attached, can be used to direct construction nozzles.

Unlike typical 3D printing systems this free-moving system can construct an object of any size. To prove the concept, the researchers used a prototype to build the basic structure of a 50ft (15.2m) diameter, 12ft (3.6m) high dome. The structure was completed in less than 14 hours.

Neri Oxman, group director and associate professor at MIT, says “It’s not merely a printer, but an entirely new way of thinking about making. Our system points to a future vision of digital construction that enables new possibilities on our planet and beyond.”


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