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    3D Concrete

    3D Concrete

    In the past, architects have been restrained when designing concrete structures because the more complex their ideas are, the more they would cost to construct. However, all that may be about to change thanks to scientists at Loughborough University, who have made great strides with additive manufacturing technologies, meaning models created with 3D CAD can more easily be formed into three-dimensional components at full scale.

    The process is called Freeform Construction, and whereas traditional methods would involve pouring concrete into temporary framework, this new method involves using a special type of concrete that is deposited layer by layer under precise computer control. Using this technology, very complex sections of buildings can be made at low cost compared to older methods.

    Dr Richard Buswell, the leader of the team of scientists at Loughborough, said of the project “every section of a building could be unique if necessary – produced by calling up a new design on-screen and setting the process to work. Components could be created with ready-made internal voids and ducts for services, and with shapes that made the most of their insulating properties. As each piece would be tailor-made, there would be virtually no waste. The possibilities are endless.”

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