The 3D manufacturing system for concrete based on 3D printing technology is an automated method that allows the production of concrete elements without the limitations of shapes and geometries that present traditional manufacturing methods by means of formworks. This technology has the potential to build large, complex concrete objects without the need of traditional formworks and could be potentially used to produce a wide range of concrete elements, including architectural elements, urban furniture, walls and structures.
On the area of digital fabrication, the C3S research group is focused on developing new concrete mixes that can be used for 3D printing technology. The main objective of the research in progress is to produce concrete mixes for different 3D printing manufacturing techniques. In this line, part of the research is primarily oriented on the characterization of 3D concrete cementitious mixes to determine their mechanical properties and suitability for being used as printable materials. Besides the material mechanical characterization, large elements are also tested and studied with the aim of evaluating the structural performance and analyse the potential use of the 3D printing mixes for structural purposes.