PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Get the latest FREE eResource Blasting Resource Guide Download Now

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Navy Seeks Housing That’s Fit to Print

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Comment | More

Maybe Rome wasn’t built in a day, but tomorrow’s far-flung Navy bases just might be.

In fact, the next generation of Navy housing may soon be popping out of a printer near you.

The Office of Naval Research is partnering with the National Science Foundation to invest in a company that aims to scale up current 3D printing technology in order to produce entire buildings "printed" out of concrete.

The layered fabrication technology could produce a 2,500-square-foot building in a single day, says Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, who founded the company, Contour Crafting.

Contour Crafting
Contour Crafting

Contour Crafting offers a series of animated videos of its technology in action.

Khoshnevis is director of the Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California.

Rapid Deployment

For the Navy (and, presumably, other service branches) 3D printing technology could provide an unprecedentedly nimble way to establish permanent structures for troops deploying to any corner of the globe where a C-17 can bring in a printer and materials, reports defensetech.org and other media outlets.

In fact, the technology is not that great a leap, contends Khoshnevis. On the contrary, he says, it is traditional construction—dangerous, slow, labor intensive, costly and (he says) corrupt—that is the throwback, and no longer sustainable.

"If you look around yourself, pretty much everything is made automatically today—your shoes, your clothes, your home appliances, your car," Khoshnevis explains in a 2012 TED Talk. "The only thing we still build by hand are these buildings."

CAD/CAM

3D printing of structures, he says, takes its inspiration from Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) in manufacturing. (Khoshnevis is an expert in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics-related research.)

With CAD/CAM, items are designed on one computer and the information is sent directly to the production machinery, which then builds the product "without any human interference," Khoshnevis says.

Automated construction of large structures, Khoshnevis says, is just a matter of scaling up those processes, with an oversized printer using programmed schematics to lay down a building layer by layer.

USC's Behrokek Khoshnevis explains automated construction (3D printing) technology in a 2012 TED Talk.

Khoshnevis says he is now using machines that can "print out" a concrete wall able to bear a compressive stress of 10,000 pounds per inch.

Automated, Customized Construction

Nor is the end result of the process a battalion of identical tract houses, Khoshnevis says. To the contrary: The computer-aided design makes it relatively simple to customize and adjust structures.

The process can also produce building subcomponents.

"Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, embedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning," Contour Crafting says on its website.

Behrokh Khoshnevis
isi.edu

In 2004, Behrokh Khoshnevis showed a working Contour Crafting printer and a wall the machine built. He says a 2,500-square-foot structure could be built in a day.

Other potential future applications for the technology are emergency housing, low-income housing, and even habitats on other planets, the company says.

Navy Trials

The Navy has been experimenting with 3D printing for several months, setting up printers in Norfolk, VA, and San Diego to produce clips, brackets, gas caps and other small plastic parts and gadgets for crews to use.

"It’s starting small and starting simple,” said Lt. Ben Kohlmann told Navy Times last June about the trial projects.

Kohlmann recalled one case where a crew member on a forward-deployed minesweeper ordered a $7 gas cap through the Navy's parts system. The part "took weeks and hundreds of dollars to be shipped," Navy Times reported.

In such cases, 3D printing technology could have enormous potential implications for saving money and time and increasing military readiness, said Kohlmann.

“If half the things fail and don’t work, that’s fine,” he said. “We’re trying to find the realm of the possible with sailor ideas.

"So we want those crazy ideas that may or may not work.”

   

Tagged categories: Concrete; Construction; Design; Housing; Information technology; Military; Research; U.S. Navy

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.

Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.


Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com


PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
We Protect and Beautify the World

PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.


Polygon
POLYGON - Temporary Humidity Control

We specialize in innovative climate control solutions for industrial painting, utilizing alternative energy sources and combining desiccants with heating or cooling.


Safway Services
Your Access Advantage. QUIKDECK®

Provides safe, factory-floor-like working conditions. Can be engineered to fit almost any shape, structure or size. Modular platform easily assembled from just a few basic components. Excellent containment. Applications include vessels, offshore rigs and bridges.


Clemco International GmbH
Global engineering-trusted solutions

For more than 70 years, Clemco has provided the highest quality blast equipment with a total commitment to comfort and safety.


Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
The Sidewinder Model M2 Solvent Recycler

Combat the rising cost of gunwash, thinners, acetone & more while drastically reducing waste disposal coat.


Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement

Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!
1(800)-252-7869


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com


Carlisle Fluid Technologies
Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit binks.com for more information.

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us