Researchers in Braunschweig, Germany, are studying “injection 3D concrete printing in suspension,” during which one fluid is robotically injected into another to creates a stable structure. Researchers have experimented with ground limestone suspensions and gels, and found suspensions offer better reusability and rheological control.
Researchers from TU Braunschweig have presented a novel type of 3D printing process that could potentially push the limits of additive manufacturing in the construction sector, called Injection 3D Concrete Printing (I3DCP) in suspension.
Within concrete construction, current additive manufacturing techniques tend to focus on layer-by-layer printing via material extrusion, jetting, or binding. While these technologies have their merits, they can be offset by drawbacks in geometric resolution and complexity, surface quality, and low building rates.
The basic idea of I3DCP in suspension is to overcome the limitations of layered 3D printing by robotically injecting one fluid material into another. This creates a stable structure due to each material’s specific rheological properties, or how they flow in response to forces or stresses.
According to the researchers, this method offers higher building rates and the ability to print freeform trajectories that are not constrained by gravitational forces. As such, I3DCP could establish entirely new structural features and efficiencies for 3D printed concrete structures.