Concrete is the most widely used construction material on this planet. The current concrete construction industry faces several challenges. One of them is the high cost. The significant amount of wastage generated in the construction is another challenge. Formwork is a significant source of waste, since all of it is discarded sooner or later, contributing to a generally growing amount of waste in the construction industry. The current construction industry has serious issues with sustainability. In general, the current construction methods and materials are not environmentally friendly. The entire construction process, including off-site manufacturing, transportation of materials, installation and assembly, and on-site construction, emits huge amounts of greenhouse gases and consumes large quantities of energy.
Application of three-dimensional (3D) printing techniques in concrete construction could solve the aforementioned challenges. 3D printing technology is recently gaining popularity in construction industry. In the last few years, different 3D concrete printing (3DCP) technologies have been explored.
Unlike the conventional approach of casting concrete into a formwork, 3D Concrete Printing will combine digital technology and new insights from materials technology to allow freeform construction without the use of expensive formwork. The freeform construction would enhance architectural expression, where the cost of producing a structural component will be independent of the shape, providing the much needed freedom from the rectilinear designs. When compared with conventional construction processes, the application of 3D concrete printing in the construction industry may offer excellent advantages over traditional methods.
In the last few years, different 3D concrete printing technologies have been developed to adopt AM in concrete construction. These technologies are mainly based on two techniques, namely extrusion-based and powder based. The currently available 3D concrete printing technologies include the powder-based 3D concrete printing using geo-polymer developed.
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