IMPRESIÓN 3D Y EXTRUSIÓN DE TIERRA CON KUKA ROBOTS INDUSTRIAL

Universidad del Bío-Bío + Universidad de Plymouth + Estudio Tribal + Tierra Lab | Proyecto Fondecyt 1181015 | Concepción, Chile | 2019
ensayo de materiales
material testing

Los ensayos se realizan en el contexto del proyecto Fondecyt 1181015  “Diseño arquitectónico y gestión de construcción impresa en 3D mediante sistemas cooperativos multi-robots”, un proyecto iniciado en el año 2018 y dirigido por el académico Rodrigo García de la Universidad del Bío-Bío, Alejandro Martinez (UBB), Fernando Auat (U.Santa Maria) y Luis Felipe Gonzalez (U.Santa Maria). El equipo de proyecto invita a Estudio Tribal / Tierra Lab a realizar experimentaciones de impresión 3D y extrusión de mezclas de tierra usando KUKA robots.


Se ensayaron 2 tipos de mezclas: 


a. Combinación de tierra arcillosa de mediana plasticidad y paja de trigo picada en proporción 1:1 con extrusión en capas o “pisos” que significaba cortar cada nivel de impresión. El resultado fue una impresión 3D de alta resistencia, pero con formas irregulares debido al uso de la paja.


b. Combinación de tierra arcillosa de mediana plasticidad y arena de río en proporción 1:1 con extrusión continua sin cortes. El resultado es una impresión 3D de menor resistencia que el caso anterior donde se usó paja, pero con formas más regulares y definidas. 

These experiments are set in the context of the Fondecyt Project 118015 "Architectural design and management of 3D printed building through cooperative, multi-robot systems", which is directed by Rodrigo García  of the University of Bío-Bío with Alejandro Martínez (UBB), Fernando Auat (U. Santa María) and Luis Felipe González (U. Santa María). This team invites Estudio Tribal / Tierra Lab to experiment with 3D printing and extrusion using earth and KUKA robots.


Two kinds of mortars were tested in this initial experiment:


a. A combination of clayey soil of medium plasticity and cut wheat straw. The proportion between both materials is  1:1 . Extrusion is done in layers, implying that each printed level had to be cut. The result was a highly resistant 3D print, but with an irregular shape, due to the use of straw.


b. A combination of clayey soil of medium plasticity with river sand. The proportion of the mixture was 1:1 and the extrusion was continuous. The 3D print is less resistant than the prior mixture, but has more regular and defined shapes.

TEGERE is the architectural response to a scenario of fragility and urgency in Sub-Saharan Africa, projected in robotized 3D earthen printing. The architectural language is ancestral and recognizes the richness of local culture and it's vernacular architecture. 


The design arises from the intersection and connection of three volumes (440m2), whose hierarchy determines the different programs: refuge, food storage and medical attention. New functional and spatial relationships emerge from the links between these modules, enriching the architectural proposal and allowing for different uses in the future. 


A muddy mix, typical from local ancestral knowledge consisting on earth, water, straw and natural additives is the main building input, which is thought to be prepared with the community, who has the experience and knowledge of their vernacular material.


Earth building considers using a local material which is both low cost and abundant. The proposal aims for it to be extracted from the building site (456m3) as a way to optimize materials and logistics, contributing to the projects contextual coherence.


Building with three robotic arms allows to optimize response times, which estimate a building time of 12 days of 12 hours and 6 days of continuous 24 hour operation. Confronting the emergency, people are relieved of the complexity of architectural work. The technological response allows to think of a design which can effortlessly get around quantitative variables of a low-cost building with an immediate response which does not overlook qualitative appreciations such as building quality, architectural design and experiential richness.

Project decisions reflect the importance of architectural design in TEGERE, allowing for a dialogue between an ancestral material and new, automatized building technologies as a promising factor for sustainable development.