MIT Develops a System That Can 3D-print an entire building

The list of materials that can be produced by 3D printing has grown to include not just plastics but also metal, glass, and even food. Now, MIT researchers are expanding the list further, with the design of a system that can 3D print the basic structure of an entire building.
Engineers from MIT have designed a system that can 3D print the basic structure of an entire building, possibly enabling faster, cheaper, more adaptable building construction in the future. The system consists of a tracked vehicle that carries a large industrial robotic arm, which has a smaller, precision-motion robotic arm at its end.
The list of materials that can be produced by 3D printing has grown to include not just plastics but also metal, glass, and even food. Now, MIT engineers are expanding the list further, with the design of a system that can 3D print the basic structure of an entire building.
Structures built with this system could be produced faster and less expensively than traditional construction methods allow, the researchers say. A building could also be completely customized to the needs of a particular site and the desires of its maker. Even the internal structure could be modified in new ways; different materials could be incorporated as the process goes along, and material density could be varied to provide optimum combinations of strength, insulation, or other properties.
Ultimately, the researchers say, this approach could enable the design and construction of new kinds of buildings that would not be feasible with traditional building methods.

source:scitechdaily.com

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