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New concrete 3D printing tech by IIT researchers can make furniture without mould in 20 minutes

New concrete 3D printing tech by IIT researchers can make furniture without mould in 20 minutes
24 Jan, 2022
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Researchers at the Sustainable resources for additive manufacturing (Sream), Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) have created a new 3D concrete printing technique, using which they could create concrete furniture without any external moulding. The entire process used industrial waste as binders to the concrete composition mix, which in turns consumed 75 per cent less concrete than a conventional manufacturing process. 

The team of three researchers could create a 3D printing process that could produce furniture measuring 1m in length, breadth and height each. Printing a piece of concrete furniture, such as a chair, took about 20 minutes to complete. 

3D concrete printing is a nascent field that has been seeing increasing research interest, such as the team of IIT Madras graduates with Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, who used a specialty concrete mix to 3D print a house. 

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Talking about the significance of 3D printing in the concrete and construction space, TG Sitharam, director of IIT Guwahati, said, “3D printing of concrete can be a technological solution for reducing carbon footprint in the building and construction industry. From the Indian context, techno-economic analysis must be carried out, which takes into account not only the environmental sustainability — but also aspects relating to cost, quality, labour and maintenance associated with 3D printing.”

Also read: Indian firms are turning to 3D printing to build houses for individuals, businesses

IIT-G’s Sream is now working on further concrete composition research, as well as the application of 3D printing in the process of underwater construction. Other research projects under the team also include 3D printing of functional reinforced concrete by using low carbon materials. 

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The use of low carbon concrete material reduces carbon waste in the entire construction process, the researcher team explained. The research division partnered with Deltasys E-Forming to execute the manufacturing process. According to the team, such products can lead to on-demand, on-site 3D printing services, which can play a key role in the future of the construction industry.