Large scale 3D printed thermoplastic composite forms for precast concrete structures
Publication Name: ResearchGate
Recent advances in large-scale 3D printing and thermoplastic composite materials with bio-based fillers and reinforcements have great potential for expanding the possibilities of making forms for precast concrete structures. The 3D printing technology for making molds, forms and tooling for precast concrete is expected to reduce labor cost and minimize waste. 3D printed forms allow design optimization of precast concrete parts since the additive manufacturing cost is only function of thermoplastic material weight and is independent of part complexity. Additionally, 3D printed forms can become and asset, since thermoplastic composite materials can be reprocessed. The design and manufacturing of 3D printed forms for casting concrete encompass three steps, as follows: 1) Prediction and reduction of shrinkage effects; 2) Structural design for strength and stiffness requirements; and 3) Model slicing, part printing, and surface finishing. The type of surface finishing and the dimensional stability and durability of the thermoplastic material selected for concrete forms are examined. The lessons learned from projects using large-scale 3D printing technology for formwork are discussed.