Work by Arup is exploring the future potential of 3D printing for the construction and manufacturing sectors.
The 3D printing or additive manufacturing approach means manufacturers can create highly complex, individually designed pieces and print them directly in metal. This has significant implications for reducing costs and cutting waste. Latest advances in the design techniques being explored by Arup mean that far smaller, lighter elements can deliver the same function and strength as those created by traditional methods.
The photo above shows three structural elements, which are all designed to carry the same structural loads and forces. The far smaller item on the right is designed using latest optimisation and manufacturing methods applied by Arup.
Salomé Galjaard, team leader at Arup, said, “This is not only an exciting development for the construction sector, but many other industries as well. In the case of this particular piece, the height is approximately half that of one designed for traditional production methods, while the direct weight reduction per node is 75%. On a construction project that means we could be looking at an overall weight reduction of the total structure of more than 40%. But the really exciting part is that this technique can potentially be applied to any industry that uses complex, high quality, metal products.”