During a year when so much disaster-related destruction dominated the headlines, it’s heartening to see that most of Redshift’s top 10 innovation articles of 2018 dealt with construction or manufacturing: the future of making.
In a volatile world, new construction will need to be more resilient while taking less of a toll on the environment. These stories show how technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), robotics, additive manufacturing, and prefabrication help build structures that stand up to seismic hazards while being cleaner, safer, and more energy efficient. Meanwhile, advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and CNC machinery yield lower-footprint products while improving working conditions and making the supply chain more efficient and localized.
Here are the top 10 most popular articles and videos Redshift published in 2018:
1. Modern Supertall Skyscrapers Thrust Big Buildings to Dizzying Heights
Curiously tall buildings have captured imaginations since 1884, and today’s behemoths use innovations such as BIM, prefabrication, and new elevator technologies to make skyscrapers taller (more than 3,000 feet), skinnier, safer, more energy efficient, and—made of wood? Read the article.
2. How Extreme Construction Surmounts America’s Most Challenging Landscapes
To build a 38,000-square-foot US Army research lab and visitor center at the 14,115-foot summit of Pike’s Peak, construction firm GE Johnson contends with extreme weather, limited accessibility, and worker health and safety concerns. Read the article.
3. The 4 Forces That Will Take on Concrete and Make Construction Smart
Thank you, concrete—next! Learn how additive manufacturing, robotics, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) synthetic “brains,” and newly engineered composite materials will kick the foundation of the 20th century to the curb and make way for the age of smart, sustainable cities. Read the article.
4. After a Tunnel Construction Triumph in Japan, All Eyes Are on CIM (not BIM)
The Mikusa Tunnel was Japan’s first building project to use 3D models comprehensively—what the locals call Construction Information Modeling (CIM)—and it led to a 35 percent increase in construction-management efficiency. Read the article.
5. Could Modular Wood Stadium Construction Be a Game Changer?
Italian companies pioneer the use of Nordic “glulam” to build expandable and movable low-cost stadiums. What is glulam? It’s glue-laminated wood, a bendable and environmentally friendly material that can be pound-for-pound stronger and lighter than steel. Read the article.
6. Thrashing the Future of Design With Topology Optimization and Skateboard Trucks
A German precision-engineering student took advantage of metal additive manufacturing and nature-inspired topology optimization to create a lightweight skateboard truck that improves the experience of downhill longboarding. Read the article.
7. 5 Ways CNC Machine Tools and Their Operators Move the Modern World
Ambitious innovators ply the greatest new CNC tools to fabricate precision products—as well as to build successful businesses and to give new opportunities to young workers. Read the article.
8. 3 Advances Changing the Future of Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing
Find out how the spread of AI to more manufacturing centers, enhanced AI perception, and AI in the supply chain could lead to safer working conditions and higher-level, more interesting tasks for human coworkers. Read the article.
9. How to Bring a Classic (Steve McQueen–Approved) Motorcycle Design Back to Life
The owner of the venerated Husqvarna Motorcycles brand teamed up with design company KISKA to bring to life two gorgeous new bikes inspired by the iconic 1955 Silverpilen. Read the article.
10. Layers of Innovation: A 3D-Printing Timeline
See 40 years of additive-manufacturing development boiled down to a fascinating two-minute video history. Watch the video.