Prominent researchers from across the globe gathered at Swinburne last week for the first international conference on 3D construction printing.
This freeform concrete printing technology has the potential to revolutionise the construction industry.
“There has been excellent progress in this field during the last couple of years worldwide – in particular in China and the Asia Pacific region – that many people did not know about,” says conference organiser Professor Jay Sanjayan, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure at Swinburne.
“Many groups independently working on similar ideas had the opportunity to meet for the first time.
Professor Sanjayan says keynote speaker, Professor Berok Khoshnevis, who pioneered this technology more than 20 years ago, was impressed with the rapid progress in the field over the past two years.
Highlights of large-scale projects presented at the conference were:
- 3D printed concrete toilet project for the Indian market for by Singapore researchers
- 3D printed concrete bridge by Hebei University of Technology
- 3D printed concrete guard house by Thailand cement company
- Bio-inspired concrete structure by researchers from China
Swinburne is the first university in Australia to establish a dedicated 3D concrete printing laboratory in the Advanced Technologies Centre under an Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant.
The 3D concrete printing laboratory houses a sophisticated 3D printing capability using robotics.
Last year, researchers led by Professor Sanjayan, received the Concrete Institute of Australia’s Victorian award for Excellence in Technology and Innovation for their innovative approach to 3D concrete printing using cement and geopolymer binding systems.
Swinburne recently signed an agreement with Hebei University of Science and Technology in China to establish a Joint Research Centre in 3D Printing of Concrete.
Nine sponsors, including major construction companies John Holland Group, Boral, and Independent Cement as well as international associations such as RILEM and Asian Concrete Federation, supported the conference.
The conference was organised by researchers and students from Swinburne’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure with co-organisers from Curtin University, Tongji University, Hebei University of Technology, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen University and National University of Singapore.