How can 3D printing transform the construction sector into a faster and more economical one?
The construction sector wants to regenerate itself with the new technologies that were already successfully used in other sectors. HINDCON was created precisely for that.
The main aim of this project was to develop manufacturing technologies for the construction sector, advancing towards industrialization and overcoming the limitations of the current approach for introducing Additive Manufacturing in construction activities.
Indeed, the project wants to achieve some important technological issues such as the lack of flexibility in the manufacturing processes, or the low productivity rate in manufacturing processing times for unique products, which has a negative costs impact in terms of custom products.
To achieve it, the partner companies have developed and demonstrated an hybrid machine regarding 3D printing technologies with concrete materials, delivering to this sector an innovative technology that reduces environmental impact at the same time it dramatically reduces economic costs in in high value-added products.
For its construction, the printer requires four main parts: a 3D positioning system, a material addition system, a subtractive system and a control system to transform designs into print head displacements. In HINDCON, those systems are generated by different organisations, in this case, CIM UPC has contributed with an Additive Platform, which implies the creation of the extruder and the alimentation system.
However, the role of CIM UPC wasn’t only relevant for that. It has also collaborated in other areas of the project, such as the material development or the fabrication and construction processes development.
On May 2019, the prototype made its first print in VIAS at Pancorbo facilities, thus effectively converting the assembly of the cable robot and the Additive platform into an effective 3D printer. During the course of the construction, the prototype was tested in a relevant environment achieving TRL 6.
This project is entirely funded by the European Comission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The consortium created for the implementation of the HINDCON project involves 12 leading companies in their respective fields.
The CIM UPC, technological centre with more than 30 years of experience in 3D printing, keeps working on the future of Additive Manufacturing and its implementation in different sectors. HINDCON is another example of that.