Freeform 3D Printing: A Sustainable, Efficient Construction Alternative
Since the beginning of the 20th century, modernism introduced to the world an architectural composite that consists of concrete, steel and glass. Heading into the 21st century, the use of these three materials has only expanded as it continues to be the most economically efficient means of construction. While digital technology in design and construction continues to evolve, the materials at which we construct architecture has remained the same. Given the rapid growth of the human population, new and more sustainable approaches to construction methodologies and materials need to be explored and utilised. This research will demonstrate the potential of freeform 3D printing as a sustainable and efficient alternative building method. It outlines contemporary digital design techniques including computation and simulation tools as a means to define and test this proposed building method including structural optimisation tools to create the most structurally efficient form from additive manufacturing. The computational methods described are then applied to a manufacturing process that includes a 6-axis robotic arm. The final result is a building methodology that supports a computational workflow from design conception to manufacture.