Local Soil Replaces Concrete for 3D Printed Structures

As construction continues to explore the promises of 3D printing technology, there has been a shift of focus from concrete. Though it works, concrete isn’t very ecofriendly. According to some studies, the binding process of cement production is the source of 8 percent of the world’s human-made carbon dioxide emissions. So that has inspired the exploration of 3D printing with soil.

The moldable clay that exists beneath the topsoil in many locations around the world has peaked the interest of scientists at Texas A&M University.

“So far, the researchers have created small-scale test structures, made of stacked printed layers of the treated clay. Before attempting anything bigger, they intend to boost its load-bearing capabilities.

Ultimately, the team hopes to develop a chemical “toolkit” that people could use to convert any type of soil into a 3D printing medium. Not only would this eliminate the need for cement, but it would also minimize the energy expenditures and greenhouse gas emissions involved in transporting heavy building materials over long distances to construction sites.”

There is also conversation around 3D printing clay and the ability to take the possibilities outside of Earth. The more we explore different 3D printing options in construction, the more the conversation will be connected to printing on other planets as it is a popular vision for our future.

If you’re interested in checking out the original article, you can do that here.

Categories: Innovation