Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Researchers want to build a dam with a distributed 3D printer

Looking forward: People have been building structures with 3D printing techniques for years, but a group of researchers wants to take AI-powered construction to a new scale. If successful, it could build a dam more quickly and cheaply than human labor.

Researchers at Beijing Tsinghua University recently sleepless Plans to build a dam nearly 600 feet tall using 3D printing methods. It could be the largest 3D printed AI-built structure ever made, but that may also depend on the definition of “3D printing.”

Builders have already saved time and money by building Homes that use large 3D printers to make layers of concrete. Last year, a manufacturing company used arch-wire robotic additive manufacturing to 3D print a metal bridge in the Netherlands. The Tsinghua University proposal, however, does not involve such techniques.

The researchers want complete the 590-foot Yangqu Hydroelectric Plant currently under construction on a Tibetan portion of the Yellow River using a legion of AI-powered robots, bulldozers, trucks, bulldozers, pavers and other vehicles. Combined with an automated programming system, the researchers refer to the system as a single massive 3D printer.

No human being would be directly involved in the construction of the dam. An AI would divide a 3D model of the project into layers and then assign each layer to unmanned machines sequentially. The AI ​​would automatically plan material collection, driving routes, and placement. You can also analyze vibrations to determine build quality. Humans would only mine the fill rocks.

In addition to speed and cost advantages, the machines could better withstand hazards such as low oxygen levels, work 24 hours a day, and the researchers believe they are less prone to human error. The most obvious drawback is the potential loss of jobs that would normally result from such a massive project.

The dam is scheduled to be completed in 2024 and will deliver nearly 5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to Henan province.

The Chinese government could very well approve the proposal given the success from another big 3D printing construction project in Shanghai last year. The Wisdom Bay Bridge is a nearly 30-foot-long Bluetooth-operated bridge that can be deployed in less than a minute.

Image Credit: Weibo


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