Structural engineers at global design and engineering consultancy Arup are looking at Additive Manufacturing (AM) to optimise construction steelwork applications in a variety of complex building projects. The team at Arup are using the design freedom that AM offers to optimise material usage, reducing costs and cut waste.
The work at Arup highlights the opportunities for the use of Additive Manufacturing in the field of construction and engineering. The research also shows that AM has the potential to cut the carbon footprint of the construction sector.
“We created a redesign of a steel node for a light weight structure using Additive Manufacturing. Arup has a lot of experience with these kind of structures, for example the tensegrity structure of the Kurilpa Bridge in Australia. The complex geometry of these kind of nodes are an ideal showcase of the possibilities of this new technique,” stated Salomé Galjaard, Team Leader, Arup.
“By using Additive Manufacturing we can create lots of complex individually designed pieces far more efficiently. This has tremendous implications for reducing costs and cutting waste. But most importantly, this approach potentially enables a very sophisticated design, without the need to simplify the design in a later stage to lower costs,” added Galjaard.
Arup funded the development work and collaborated with a number of partners to realise the designs, including WithinLab, CRDM/3D Systems and EOS.