Focus area A ‘Materials and Processes’
Focus area A ‘Materials and Processes’ centres on the investigation of basic principles for the development from scratch of unique AMC processes for concrete, steel, and timber. As mentioned above, the innovation potential of the proposal is based primarily on the merging of material and process developments produced in interdisciplinary research teams.
Based on the state of research and the results of preliminary research projects carried out by the applicants, two groups of additive manufacturing technologies are considered promising for implementation in construction: (1) particle-bed 3D printing techniques and (2) deposition 3D printing techniques.
Particle-bed 3D printing techniques include selective cement activation (SCA) (A01) and selective paste intrusion (SPI) (A02) for concrete, as well as selective laser melting (SLM) (A06) for steel and individual layer fabrication (A08) for timber. Among the deposition techniques, extrusion 3D printing (A03) and shotcrete 3D printing (SC3DP) (A04) for concrete, as well as wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) (A07) for steel are considered.
Focus Area B 'Computational Modelling and Control'
The experimentally driven investigations of focus area A ‘Materials and Processes‘ are enhanced by the corresponding projects of focus area B ‘Computational Modelling and Control'. All AM processes will be developed by taking into account assigned digital feedback obtained by computational modelling and process control. The aim of focus area B is the development of novel models and efficient discretisation schemes for numerical simulation of material–process interactions relevant to additive manufacturing processes in construction. From the modelling point of view, the focus is on the rheological behaviour of concrete during extrusion (B02, B03) and on the thermo-mechanical behaviour of steel during selective laser melting (B01). On the computational side, a suite of discretisation procedures will be developed, including DEM, FEM, and Lattice Boltzmann methods. Additionally, the coupling of multiple discretisation techniques will be required due to the complexity of the described phenomena.
During the first funding period, primarily A projects A03, A04 and A07, for which sufficient information about the material behaviour is available from preliminary research, will be supported with modelling and simulations (B01-B03). In the course of the second funding period, the area of computational modelling will be expanded to all A projects. Furthermore, a special focus will be on process control and path planning for the robot-assisted AM techniques. Therefore, project B04 is tied to the robotic manufacturing methods of projects A04 and A05. Project B05 is related to project A03. Kathrin Dörfler, freshly appointed professor for Digital Fabrication at TU Munich, will focus on the integration of mobile robots in the extrusion-based AM process of A03 by investigating the principles of mobile robotics for AM and the potential opportunities that these processes can bring to on-site construction.