There may come a time when houses are literally printed on-site. The International Business Times recently did a story about a 3D-printer invented by one Andrey Rudenko from Minnesota, which allowed him to create a single-level, concrete castle in his garden in just eight hours. Rudenko hopes that this technology might help other countries bring affordable housing much faster to people who really need it.
Ideally, concrete forms should be strong enough to carry all types of loads yet light enough to be transported and assembled without much effort. Aluminum forms fit this description quite nicely, although they may not be as cheap as timber or plywood forms. Then again, wooden forming systems are susceptible to moisture and can’t be reused as often as aluminum forms, which makes the latter ultimately more practical. In fact, the best aluminum concrete wall forms for sale even allow unskilled contractors to work with concrete, seeing that aluminum is significantly much more convenient to use.
However, convenience doesn’t necessarily bring construction costs down. For example, if a building’s blueprint has plenty of elaborate designs, multiple wall ties and forming systems would have to be constructed to accommodate them. Rudenko’s 3D printer also encountered this problem; it had to stop and adjust to accommodate various curves and shapes, which wouldn’t be the case if Rudenko’s castle had a uniform shape.
Still, this doesn’t change the fact that reliable forming systems are very important to the construction industry, as evidenced by various innovations down the line. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are one piece of technology that’s currently undergoing extensive testing. SMAs can retain their shape even after they’re severely deformed, which makes them a good forming material along with concrete, cement, and other heat-sensitive materials. In any case, many construction firms cannot do without quality concrete formworks that help get the job done with superior results.
(Source: Man 3D-Prints Castle In Back Garden Using Concrete Printer He Invented, International Business Times, July 31, 2014)