3D-printed duplex structural steel connectors
09 February 2021
After producing its first optimized and printed structural connector in duplex steel last year, large-scale 3D metal company MX3D and Takenaka, one of the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in Japan, continued the research and development on this relevant application. This project showed the progress in the production of highly customized and engineered steel connectors using robotic 3D metal printing, i.e. Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). Now, destructive and non-destructive testing on a series of printed duplex steel connectors shows strong and consistent performance on mechanical and material properties. The successful tests are a crucial step towards certification of the structural connector, which parties intend to use for innovative building projects.
The series of connectors has been printed in duplex stainless steel, as the initial prototype. The hollow steel structure filled with concrete is highly effective and economical for safety performance.
Closing the digital design loop is key for the architecture, engineering and construction industry. MX3D’s robotic WAAM technology used to produce these connectors allows for full digital control over the design, production, timeline and cost with great logistic benefits and excellent integration with BIM applications. MX3D’s MetalXL now enables fabricators to quickly start 3D metal printing large-scale metal applications in their own facilities.
The strong mechanical and material results from the research project confirm the relevance of robotic 3D metal printing for architecture, engineering and construction and open up a new generation of structural connections for the AEC industry.
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