3D printing technology faces major issues when it is required to leave the shelter of a warehouse and step foot on a construction job site. 3D printers are extremely large, heavy, and rely on precise calibration for accuracy. Even the first 3D printed office building in Dubai, which was completed last year, had to actually have its components printed off site and assembled on site. But, Apis Cor, a 3D printing company, believes it has created the technology to print a full structure completely on site.
In the video below, you’ll see footage of a 409 square foot (38m²) concrete house being printed in Moscow, Russia in December of 2016. According to the company, the machine they used has a maximum elevation of nearly 11 feet (3300mm) and can print up to 1,076 square feet (100 m²) per day. The machine also has a built-in automatic horizon alignment and stabilization system, which makes setting up the printer much easier.
Although the machine is able to operate in temperatures as low as -31°F (-35°C), the material used, which is a concrete mixture, is only able to be placed at temperatures higher than 41°F (5°C). Therefore, a tenting system had to be brought on site to raise the temperature inside.
The total cost of the building amounted to $10,134, which included all exterior and interior finish work. Noticeably missing from the cost breakdown on the company’s website was the price of the 3D printing technology. It’s an interesting take on the technology, but does show that human labor is still necessary to actually finish the building. Human labor was required for insulation, glazing, painting, and all interior work. The company believes this technology can be used for affordable housing projects, due to its lower costs.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think!
This week, Procore held their annual construction technology conference called Groundbreak in Austin, TX. Through a series of keynote speeches and breakout sessions, Procore announced their latest releases and plans for the future. I was in attendance this week and I’ll have a full recap of the event coming soon. One of the company’s biggest announcements at this year’s Groundbreak was the release of a new product called Design Coordination, for Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) teams.
CAT phones has made our headlines in recent years by matching their rugged design with a suite of features that no other phone can match, like the built-in thermal imaging, laser measure, and humidity and VOC sensors that the Cat S61 has. Those past phones have been unlocked and compatible with certain networks of the user’s choosing, but their latest release is starting out only available on the Sprint Network.
It’s been a long time coming, but the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge has passed all of its required testing and is ready to be installed. But, before it gets to its final home, it will go on a short publicity tour.
As was announced at PlanGrid’s first annual Construction Summit in June of this year, PlanGrid has officially released it’s new product “Tasks,” which will replace it’s other product “Issues” moving forward.
Tracking your construction project’s submittals and their approval status can be a tedious and frustrating process, but thankfully several project management applications are helping solve that issue with technology. At the beginning of this year, PlanGrid announced the release of an automatic submittal log creator tool, which scans through your project’s specification book and creates a trackable log of each submittal. The company has recently added several new features to make the Submittal platform, which allows users to manipulate the submittal log, even more useful.
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
PlanGrid users may have noticed, or been frustrated with that fact, that some features that are available on the program’s Android and iOS apps are not available on the Windows app. Windows’ Surface tablets have become a popular option for construction teams in recent years, so those users will be happy to hear that the Field Reports function is now available on PlanGrid for Windows.
One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.
We’ve heard a lot of promising developments on construction technologies in the past few years, many of which will not only make the industry more efficient, but create a much higher quality product. Testing this technology inside of a controlled facility, however, doesn’t quite paint an entire picture for how the product will perform on a constantly evolving jobsite.