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11 months ago

MDA Technologies 5/2016

MDA Technologies 5/2016

A 3D printed house? Now

A 3D printed house? Now a reality MACHINE ELEMENTS Alexander Mühlens In Amsterdam’s Marine Quarter, the façade of the “Europe Building” was partly built by 3D printing. For the production of the façade elements, the architects used the gantry systems and the engineering support of the motion plastics specialist igus. Everything starts small - even the 3D printing technology. This applies not only to the market share of this production technology, but also for the size of the printed components. Initially, there were small prototypes, orthodontic aids, and designer jewellery, which were manufactured with generative processes. Today the 3D printer already produces motor vehicle components and - at igus - customised highly wear-resistant Tribo-components. And it goes even bigger: the Dutch architecture firm DUS has materialized the idea of building entire houses in this way – with a mobile 3D printer in XXL format, which is housed in a shipping container. Sensible, flexible and eco-friendly What seems an exotic marketing gimmick at first glance, on closer inspection is not only charming but has a lot of arguments in its favour. In this way the load-bearing structures can be manufactured from plastic recyclate, which is also a sustainable enter- Author: Alexander Mühlens, Product Manager drylin drive technology, igus GmbH, Cologne, Germany prise. Logistics at the construction site are also considerably simplified: The elements are printed on site, placed on the spot and filled with concrete. And while cost-effective pre-fabricated architecture has almost always looked boring and uniform so far, now a great freedom of design has opened up. In addition, the architects of DUS say, this process can be used very well for the quick construction of new houses in disaster areas. To transform the idea into reality, DUS founded the company ‘Actual’. The aim of ‘Actual’ is to enable the owner to select and customize building components on a digital platform, which are then manufactured on site using XXL 3D printers. Under the term “Kamer Maker 2.0” (literally ‘Room Builder’ 2.0) this idea is very popular in the Dutch media. It was even reported worldwide, and presented to the US President Barack Obama himself in person during a visit to Amsterdam. 01 Drylin range from igus includes ready to install gantries for all 3 axes with actuators and sensors for position detection MDA Technologies 5/2016

02 Insides of the mobile 3D printer; The print head moves on a drylin axis with toothed belt drive 03 Components of the house of the EU Presidency were produced by 3D printers Technological partner for 3D printed homes To experience how the new way of building homes looks like in practice, a visit to the Europe Building in the Amsterdam Marine Quarter is a must. The building was built for the duration of the Dutch Presidency of the EU. The airy facade of this house is reminiscent of historic sailing ships, which were previously produced in this very district. Under the sails, appear 3D printed elements made of biodegradable plastic which can be recycled at the end of the presidency. The 3D printed façade elements are accompanied by 3D printed seating elements which have also been created by Actual. To make the “Kamer Maker 2.0” an instant success, Actual has sought for technological partners. As one of these partners, the motion plastics specialist igus has helped with optimizing the design of the mobile 3D printer. The first generation of the 3D printer had a separate room for the controls and therefore could produce only parts up to a size of 2.00 × 2.00 × 3.00 meters. Thus, there was need for improvement, both in precision and in the printing speed. Developing new axes for the Print head The engineers at igus co-developed the new axes on which the print head moves. In this process they used their expertise in additive manufacturing: Conventional 3D printers of several manufacturers use igus linear axes, and in its manufacturing facility igus operates its own 3D printer to produce customized sliding elements from its iglidur filaments. In the planning the engineers made use of the modular system of the igus multi-axis gantries. They are available as line, flat and room gantries for one, two and three axes, and depart from predefined surfaces and spaces. In this case, a room gantry is used, in which the x- and y-axis have been implemented with drylin toothed belt units and the z-axis with drylin lead screw / nut systems. The print head moves precisely on the self-lubricating linear systems via ready to install complete toothed belt systems, supplied by igus. Even for the lead screw units, which position the gantry vertically, drives from igus equipped with position detection are used. As a technology partner igus provided support with proposals for the integration of the printer – which now prints the structural elements up to 5 metres high – in the shipping container and also assisted Actual during the commissioning of second generation “Kamermaker” on site. In addition, other components from the igus construction kit for plain bearings and linear systems were also installed, for example, the igubal pillow block bearings and the igus energy chains for safely guiding the signals and electrical current via cables to the print head. Now a 3D printed Canal house in Amsterdam With the second generation of the “Kamer Maker 2.0”, the company ‘Actual’ can print larger elements with high precision and greater speed. The igus gantry system is extremely instrumental in this. Among the projects undertaken by Actual at present is the “3D printed Canal House”, which is currently being built on a town canal in Amsterdam. The construction site is public and has had more than 40,000 visitors so far. If you want to see a 3D printer building a house “live” in the XXL format, you can do so in Amsterdam at Asterweg 49. (please make a reservation beforehand: infoa@3dprintcanalhouse.com) Photographs: 01-02 igus GmbH, 03 Actual www.igus.com About igus igus GmbH, a family-run company based in Cologne is a leading manufacturer of energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings. The company is represented in 35 countries and employs over 2,950 people worldwide. In 2015, igus generated a turnover of 552 million Euros with motion plastics, plastic components for moving applications. The company’s test laboratories and factories, one of the largest in its sector offers its customers quick turnaround times on innovative solutions tailored to their needs. MDA Technologies 5/2016

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