Amin K. Akhnoukh* Pages 294 - 300 ( 7 )
Contour crafting application has been widely used in different industrial, pharmaceutical, medical, and aviation applications for more than three decades. Recently, mega-sized 3-D printers were developed, with sufficient capability to print full-scale construction projects, including walls, homes, bridges, and multi-story buildings. Successful 3-D printing of projects is accomplished by the Additive Manufacturing (AM) process through the placement of successive layers of construction materials using robotic arms (3-D printers). This layered construction, known as contour crafting, is controlled by computer modeling software. This paper presents the history of contour crafting development, its current application in construction, the advantages of contour crafting applications in construction, and the main impediments to the widespread of contour crafting in the local construction market. In addition, this paper highlights the current research efforts made to integrate Building Information Modeling (BIM) in contour crafting construction. Based on the recent research findings, contour crafting application in construction improves job site productivity and project sustainability as a result of reduced material waste in construction sites. Finally, the automated construction through the application of contour crafting technique results in improved job site safety and increased overall quality of construction projects due to the increased automation in construction.
Additive manufacturing, 3-D printing, contour crafting, mega printers, B-huts, building information modeling.
Construction Management Department, East Carolina university, Greenville, North Carolina