Research

Aerial additive building manufacturing: three-dimensional printing of polymer structures using drones


Reference:

Dams, B., Sareh, S., Zhang, K., Shepherd, P., Kovac, M. and Ball, R., 2017. Aerial additive building manufacturing: three-dimensional printing of polymer structures using drones. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials

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    Official URL:

    https://doi.org/10.1680/jcoma.17.00013

    Abstract

    This paper describes the first aerial additive manufacturing system developed to create and repair civil engineering structures using polymeric materials 3D extrusion-printed by aerial robots. The structural potential of three commercially available expanding polyurethane foams of varying density (LD40, Reprocell 300 and Reprocell 500), and their feasibility for deposition using an autonomous dual-syringe device is described. Test specimens consisting of one and two layers, with horizontal and vertical interfaces, were mechanically tested both parallel and perpendicular to the direction of expansion. LD40 specimens exhibited ductile failure in flexural tests and provided evidence that interfaces between layers were not regions of weaknesses. Hand-mixed specimens of Reprocell 500 possessed compressive strengths comparable with concrete and flexural strengths similar to the lower range of timber, though exhibited brittle failure. There are challenges to be faced with matching the performance of hand-mixed specimens using the autonomous dual-syringe deposition device, primarily concerning the rheological properties of the material following extrusion. However, the device successfully imported and deposited two liquid components, of varying viscosity, and maintained correct mixing ratios. This work has demonstrated the structural and operational feasibility of polyurethane foam as a viable material for extrusion-printing from aerial robots.

    Details

    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsDams, B., Sareh, S., Zhang, K., Shepherd, P., Kovac, M. and Ball, R.
    DOI10.1680/jcoma.17.00013
    Uncontrolled Keywordsmaterials technology,resins and plastics,strength and testing of materials
    DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Architecture & Civil Engineering
    Research CentresBRE Centre in Innovative Construction Materials
    Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA)
    Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies
    RefereedYes
    StatusPublished
    ID Code56372

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