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High-Performance Corrugated Concrete Shell Construction on Bending-actuated Robotically 3D-printed Formworks


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Additive manufacturing (AM) has expanded possibilities for materialising structures that achieve strength through intelligent, but complex geometries. However, conventional AM techniques, such as thermoplastic fused deposition modelling (FDM), also rely on material with low strength and stiffness, which limit their full-scale building construction applications. This paper articulates one of several design-fabrication strategies jointly developed by MIT, ETHZ and Tongji researchers in a workshop to respond to this challenge: FDM is optimised for producing self-supporting scaffold that can be printed flat and bent in-place on site—scaffolds whose strength are built gradually via additional structural material application. Inspired by principles of shallow arching action and structural corrugation, this paper—part 2 in the series—develops an AM-enabled multi-phased construction method for creating a walkable full-span structure capable of accommodating live structural loads. The feasibility of the novel assembly process is demonstrated with the construction of a bridge measuring approximately 5-metre in span. The produced prototype illustrates one alternative design-fabrication strategy leveraging force-explicit equilibrium design methods to synthesise the advantages of vernacular and digital manufacturing techniques—resulting in new possibilities for the materialisation geometrically complex, live-load-bearing and moderate-span concrete structures with minimal form-work

Keywords: additive manufacturing; bending active; concrete; formwork; shallow vault; surface corrugation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Tongji University & Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich Shanghai, People’s Republic of China & Zurich, Switzerland & [email protected], Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3: Block Research Group, Institute of Technology in Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich 4: College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University

Publication date: October 7, 2019

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  • The Proceedings of IASS Annual Symposia include the articles presented at each symposium. They are grouped by thematic sessions. These limited-length conference papers are reviewed and selected by the Scientific or Technical Committee of each symposium, and generally only those actually presented orally at the conference are included. Although the metadata for the papers is available to the public, only members of the IASS can view the full papers, for which the author(s) hold the copyright. Further information about the projects or research should be sought from the author(s).
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