As NASA explores what it will take to colonize Mars and other planets, one thing is clear: we won’t be able to build structures there the way we currently do on Earth. Kurt Maldovan shares how the engineers at Jacobs are developing a system for Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) which can autonomously 3D print structures from regolith (rock) and waterless binders in advance of the arrival of human explorers. The same system also holds potential for military use and emergency housing after disasters on Earth, since they can create a 500-square-foot structure in 40 hours, compared with the current minimum of five days. The same system can also be used to build affordable housing in modern cities to meet the needs of the 1.6 billion people who are expected to be without quality housing by 2025.
About the speaker
Kurt Maldovan is a digital engineering lead at Jacobs, where he actively develops and implements technology-based strategies and provides a comprehensive BIM/ virtual design and construction toolset, enabling collaboration, model sharing, and visualization. He is a graduate of Penn State University's Architectural Engineering Program with a focus on Construction Management. He has been a featured presenter, panelist, or moderator at over 50 national and international conferences.
Autonomous construction using 3D printing technologies holds promise but requires designers to optimize building designs for constructability and the constraints of the robotic systems. A team from Penn State that also participated in the NASA Mars Challenge is focusing on using BIM and generative design to solve the problem.
3D printing isn’t the only option for creating autonomous systems for construction. This AU London 2019 session surveys the current and future possible uses of robotics in AEC and presents a vision for a fully automated construction site using totally new manufacturing processes.
Bill Allen of EvolveLAB led the most-watched AU class of all time in 2016, and he returned in 2019 to share new thoughts and predictions on the technologies that will be shaping the future of the design/build process, from generative design to robotic construction, and how you can play a part in the transformation.