Optimisation of different concrete mix designs for 3D Printing by utilising 6DOF industrial robot

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
ISARC 2017 - Proceedings of the 34th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, 2017, pp. 268 - 275
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Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies are becoming increasingly viable for commercial and research implementation into various applications. AM refers to the process of forming structures layer upon layer and finds application in prototyping and manufacturing for building construction. It has recently begun to be considered as a viable and attractive alternative in certain circumstances in the construction industry. This paper focuses on the utilisation of different concrete mixtures paired with extrusion techniques facilitated by a six Degree of Freedom (DOF) industrial robot. Using methods of Damp Least Squares (DLS) in conjunction with Resolved Motion Rate Control (RMRC), it is possible to plan stable transitions between several waypoints representing the various print cross-sections. Calculated paths are projected via 'spline' interpolation into the manipulator controlled by custom software. This article demonstrates the properties of different concrete mixture designs, showing their performance when used as a filament in 3D Printing and representing a comparison of the results that were found. In this study, the prepared materials consist of ordinary Portland cement, fine sand between (425-450) micron, coarse aggregate ranges (3) mm and chemical admixtures which have been used to accelerate setting times and reduce water content. Numerous tests were performed to check the buildability, flowability, extrudability and moldability of the concrete mixtures. The horizontal test was used to determine the flowability and consistency, while the vertical and squeeze-flow tests were used to determine the buildability of the layers. The extrudability and moldability of the concrete mixtures were controlled by the robot and associated extruder speeds.
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