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

 

Download our free eResource: Safety in Coatings Work.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


3-D Printed Steel: ‘Whole New Direction’

Friday, June 27, 2014

More items for Program/Project Management

More items from Europe

Comment | More

A global engineering firm has unveiled 3D-printed structural-steel building components, touting “a whole new direction for the use of additive manufacturing in the field of construction and engineering.”

A team at UK-based Arup used 3D printing technology, or "additive manufacturing," to develop a design method that could be used to produce very intricate or complex steel elements of tensile structures.

"By using additive manufacturing, we can create lots of complex individually designed pieces far more efficiently," said Salomé Galjaard, team leader at Arup.

Photos: Arup

Arup used 3D printing to develop complex, individually designed steel nodes (left). Traditionally produced steel nodes (right) are still cheaper to manufacture, although Arup expects that to change.

Headquartered in London, Arup is a multinational that provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment.

'Tremendous Implications'

The company said its research showed that additive manufacturing could reduce costs, waste and the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

The team's Exhibit A: a redesign of a steel node for a light-weight structure.

To develop the nodes, a laser heats up and melts a fine layer of steel powder, which is then solidified, Gizmag.com explained. The structure is gradually built up by adding new layers of steel powder.

"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," Galjaard said.

Development work was funded by Arup. Design partners included WithinLab, a UK-based engineering design software and consulting company; CRDM/3D Systems, the UK-based additive manufacturing partner; and EOS, a German manufacturing solutions company that worked on early development.

Held Back by 'Traditional Thoughts'

In an interview with Foundry-Planet.com, Galjaard said the nodes were about 12 centimeters tall, scaled to 40 percent of the original size, and represented the first part of the research.

Arup

The first nodes are about 12 centimeters tall, scaled to 40 percent of the original size. Larger models were too expensive to produce at this stage, the company said.

"We were actually quite surprised to see no one in the building industry was applying this technique so we thought, 'Why don't we give it a shot and design something with a very open mind with the idea that it could easily fail or not be something that we would want to use?'" Galjaard explained.

"We could have printed them in almost real size, but because for us it was just a model, we didn't print a full-scale model, because it was getting a little bit expensive for an internal research project."

Galjaard told Foundry-Planet.com that the team was "pleasantly surprised" with the material characteristics, but also realized it was "still very limited by traditional thoughts."

"What you see here is a nice model, but it's definitely not the most optimized version," Galjaard said. "We're going through the design process again, trying to get rid of all those traditional thoughts that were still in our heads.

"We actually think the next node will even look different than the one you see in the pictures."

   

Tagged categories: Building science; Construction; Design; Research; Steel; Technology; Trends

Comment from ANDY DOLPHIN, (6/30/2014, 5:33 AM)

I’m surprised there hasn’t been more comment on this article because the item shown, to me is so clearly impractical it isn’t worth printing even on paper. The two points the article illustrates to me is the implication engineers are not creative, an assertion that is untrue. Engineers are always creative but have to temper it with the knowledge that the new has to be demonstrably fit for purpose and traditional thoughts are the tried and trusted method of assessing new ideas. The second objection with this article is that because the item featured is so clearly unworkable it suggests 3D printing technology is an irrelevance so could easily damage its reputation and hence the prospects of it becoming more widely adopted.


Comment from James Albertoni, (7/1/2014, 10:12 AM)

Just because you can 3D print steel, doesn't mean it's the correct steel material with the correct properties. Plus, who in the heck wants to try painting that thing.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Blast &
Recovery Equipment

Trailer or skid mounted blast and recovery equipment. Systems designed for maximum versatility, environmental compliance
and overall cost savings.
Call 1-800-634-7278


CS Unitec
Surface Prep & Material Removal

CS Unitec’s Floor Planers remove coatings & corrosion from concrete & metal surfaces. Produce keyed profiles for waterproofing applications. info@csunitec.com


LS Industries
LS Blasters: Optimum Steel Cleaning Efficiency

Simplify surface prep with the precise shot control of LS Blasters. Our blast technology delivers optimum coverage and finish. 800-533-8008


Armorthane
Polyurethane and Polyurea Sprayed-On Protection

Buy POLYURETHANE or POLYUREA coatings and spray equipment for years of proven chemical resistance, water- and weather-proofing, and structural improvements.


Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques

See our Low Temperature Catalyst for your CO removal needs. Help to provide your workers with safe, comfortable breathing air!


Harsco
Find BLACK BEAUTY® Abrasives

Use our online tool to search by address, city or zip code to find where you can buy BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives. Or call us toll free: 1-888-733-3646


NLB Corporation
Water jet surface prep, high or low

See how quickly HydroPrep® tools do surface prep, with no containment needed. Choose automated Crawler for overhead, Vortex™ for floors, or handheld VertaJet™.


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST -
NO CONTAMINANTS

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


PreTox Products - NexTec, Inc.
GOT LEAD? Specify Pretox System products

The ONLY Lead Stabilizer Compatible with All Paint Removal Methods. Works with all Blast Media: Grits | Recyclable Abrasives | CO2 | Water | Power Tools | Etc. Call Dave Steffen at 800.338.8296.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design 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
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com