Structural Engineering

Massive Hybrid Manufacturing Machine in Europe Pushes Boundaries of 3D Printing

When toy-scale 3D printers began popping up at Maker Faires about a decade ago, the idea of printing an entire house seemed a long way off. But by late 2019, builders were already producing entire neighborhoods of small printed-concrete dwellings. Clearly, 3D printing can work on a grown-up scale. But can it generate large, complex, engineered components for urban architecture or manufacturing? A consortium of corporations, universities, and nonprofits is determined to prove that it can.

Industry has focused commercial-scale additive manufacturing on products with complex geometries for which traditional milling, casting, or grinding methods—especially objects needed in small numbers, on short notice—are impractical or expensive. Generally, they’ve been fairly small objects. But Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism, and design, has pushed the boundaries of scale for additive manufacturing by designing and planning a 5-meter-long (16.4-foot-long) additive-steel building truss, which it produced in sections.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/hybrid-manufacturing/.

Photo Credit: The Large-scale Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) is a massive hybrid-manufacturing machine with metal additive and subtractive capabilities. Courtesy of LASIMM.

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Bogotá, Colombia’s Atrio Complex Is a Marvel of Coordinated Construction

Atrio is on the fast track to becoming the new “heart of Bogotá.” The major mixed-use development, currently in its first phase of construction, aims to help regenerate Centro Internacional, a former commercial district in Colombia’s capital city.

The project comprises two towers (44 and 67 stories, respectively) that will provide office space, a hotel, residences, public services, and retail on Avenida Caracas. The complex will also feature a large new public space—a transportation-adjacent pedestrian area expected to be used by 72,000 people every day.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/atrio-bogota/.

Photo Credit: Bogotá’s new 107,600-square-foot Atrio complex aims to help revive the capital city’s downtown. Courtesy of ARPRO Ellisdon JV.

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Do Legacy Construction Companies Have the Inside Track on Modular Building?

Fresh-faced, tech-oriented startups get most of the attention in the modular-building world, but despite their “it” factor, they’re still start-ups. Is there a market share in modular just waiting for companies with the approach and know-how that come with legacy experience?

Chicago-based legacy construction company Skender has been researching modular construction for years and is now getting in the game. In late November 2018, it invited a gaggle of reporters and industry representatives to its 106,000-square-foot factory space on Chicago’s southwest side for a look at its prototype modular apartment. When the new venture is up and running, the company pledges to employ 100 people to produce 2,500 modules per year, at a rate 30% to 40% faster and at a cost 10% to 20% less than traditional construction.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-construction-companies/.

Photo Credit: Skender’s prototype of a modular apartment building it is constructing in Chicago. Courtesy of Skender.

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GIS and BIM Integration Will Transform Infrastructure Design and Construction

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

For example, when you move data between phases of the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/gis-and-bim-integration/.

Photo Credit: Merging GIS and BIM data introduces a geospatial element into structure design, which leads to safer and smarter buildings, roads, and transportation.

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