An Arup-led team has developed a technique of 3D printing steel joints which will significantly reduce the time and cost needed to make complex nodes in tensile structures.
The research is introduced as “a whole new direction for the use of additive manufacturing” which allows 3D printing to be taken “firmly into the realm of real-world, hard hat construction”.
In addition to creating elegant components, it also could also reduce costs, cut waste and slash the carbon footprint of the construction sector.
Salomé Galjaard, the team leader at Arup, commented: “By using additive manufacturing we can create lots of complex individually designed pieces far more efficiently. This has tremendous implications for reducing costs and cutting waste. But most importantly, this approach potentially enables a very sophisticated design, without the need to simplify the design in a later stage to lower costs,” said Salomé Galjaard, the team leader at Arup.
Although the traditional method of manufacturing these steel nodes is currently cheaper, Arup is predicting that “this will change in the short term.”