Over the course of the years there have been a multitude of changes to every aspect of personal and professional lives due to technology, particularly since the development of computers. The reach of technology is seemingly endless in its scope and what it can accomplish, hindered only by the imaginations and determination of people.
The engineering and construction industry is no exception to this, with new ways to perform tasks, calculations, and simulations coming out all of the time. Almost every one of these changes are beneficial and have led to a wealth of new opportunities. Either making existing methods of practice faster and more cost effective, or opening up entirely new methods of approach.
That is why it’s important to stay informed and up-to-date with all of the latest technological developments, regardless of age, profession and location. So now we’d like to talk about a piece of new 3D printing technology that is being refined, and some of the benefits we see that it has the potential to offer.
3D printing technologies in themselves are not a particularly new idea. The ability to do so has been around for a few years now, but until recently the materials that you could print with were fairly limited and results have been widely varied in terms of their quality. However, for some time now there have been forays into designing and implementing new ways to print with a plethora of materials. Focusing not only on the type of materials used for the printing, but also the quality and consistency of the print.
One exciting example of this can be found in the impressive work done by a Dutch company by the name of MX3D, who have created the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge. Over the course of 6 months, with the help of 4 specially designed robots, and using approximately 1100km of steel wire; the company created an impressive otherworldly structure spanning a little over 12m in length, 6m wide and weighing 4,500kg. The excitement and wonder of the bridge they have constructed though, pales in comparison to the technology behind it.
Utilising and developing this and similar methods, could provide numerous benefits. Such as:
Although, in its current state there are a lot of obstacles to overcome, this bridge and other similar works are just a glimpse at some of what is to come. For more details on MX3D’s bridge, as well as some other projects they are working on, you can find it on their website.
As for us at BellMont, we’re looking forward to what the future holds and what opportunities are on our horizon.
Let us know what you think about this emerging technology and leave a comment, and to keep up to date with all the latest with BellMont, join our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
It seems timber may become the go to material for builders of multi storey structures, with the number of modern buildings constructed with engineered timber begins to rise. Although the use of this material for multi storey buildings has been documented as early as the thirteenth century, builders and architects alike are looking to the past for inspiration on how to build these towering structures, with a modern twist.
So what's all the fuss about?
In short this material is economical and effective. Unlike its concrete competitors, engineered timber is lightweight and easier to work with. Opting for engineered timber also allows contractors to save money, time and offers a safer work environment for their team, as the material requires less labour requirements which means smaller teams of tradesmen and less high risk tasks such as welding and cutting.
However, there is a downside. Builders who wish to use to cross laminated timber on buildings have to outsource overseas, as the material is not readily available in bulk locally, this will unfortunately add time and cost to the project.
On paper, these two professions can understandably seem quite similar. Architects and engineers are closely associated with one another when it comes to the creation and transformation of a building and yet, they play two very different roles.
An easy way to visualise the differences between the professions that I came across was, to think of them as the two sides of the brain. On one side we have the architect whose approach to a building is theoretical, creative and artistic and on the opposing side we have the engineer, who works in a precise, systematic and mathematical way. Just like the brain, both sides are integral, but for different reasons.
Both of these disciplines are integral in the world of infrastructure and complement each other quite well, with the engineer possessing the ability to use scientific principles to determine whether the architect’s plans are physically possible and what materials need to be used to get the job done in a safe and effective manner.
Now that you are aware of the distinct differences between an architect and an engineer, you will know who to call when you have an issue with your structure. Hint: It’s us.