3D Concrete Printing Becomes Reality
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is an innovative solution for many construction projects. Its use on actual projects especially is noteworthy, mostly because the construction industry can be hesitant to embrace new technology.
Here’s an exception: Rather than using traditional wooden molds to manufacture architectural window panels for the Domino Sugar mixed-use project in New York City, the precast concrete producer used 3D-printed molds to cost-effectively create a random pattern for the panels’ openings. This not only reduces waste because 3D-printed molds can be reused 10 times more often than wooden molds, but also results in a higher quality finish on the concrete panels. 3D mold printing can accommodate imaginative, complicated geometry and compensates for the lack of skilled tradespeople. This project is a case study in collaboration. A government agency and laboratory, trade and technical association, 3D printing company, and precast concrete producer worked together to implement the use of this new technology.