INDUSTRY – CONSTRUCTION
The construction industry has always been slow to use technology, as Nick and Ron know well from trying to market their mini-computer-based Construction Accounting System in the 1970s. While acceptance may still be slow, uses of technology in the industry are proliferating:
- 3D technology is being used to build entire structures – homes. and even multi-story buildings. (Charities are using the technology to build homes and schools in impoverished areas,)
- 4D technology is able to create electrical circuits.
- Robots have been used for spot and arc welding since the 1960s, but now robots are able to lay bricks faster than a bricklayer journeyman, paint high walls, and saw wood to specifications.
- Robots will be used to store and transfer material on job sites.
- Drones are being used to improve safety by flying around job sites, identifying problems.
- Robots are acting as security guards.
- Swarms of drones are being used to transfer material in high-rise construction. (So, without buckets on pulleys, this classic request for sick leave will make no sense for future generations!)
The impact on jobs will be substantial. An issue for the industry and its unions is that, with lower-level jobs (such as laborers) being eliminated, and much of the support work for any journeyman automated, the whole apprenticeship process will need to be re-thought.
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REVIEW THESE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES - AND READ THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU
HADRIAN X ROBOT TO BUILD 5,000 HOMES IN MEXICO (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2021-11 - AuManufacturing)
Robotic bricklaying company FBR will supply Mexico’s GP Vivienda its Wall as a Service robotic construction system to build between 2,000 and 5,000 homes. It will also supply all associated retaining walls and other brick and block structures to a greenfield residential development site.
AN ENTIRE STREET OF 3D-PRINTED HOMES ARE MOVE-IN READY (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2021-09 - Inhabitat)
East 17th Street, Austin, Texas is a collection of 3D-printed homes – the first 3D-printed homes for sale in America. The homes range in size from 900 to 2,000 sq.ft in two and four-bedroom designs with covered front porches and covered parking.
GRID ROBOTS CHALK LINES TO PREPARE FOR CONSTRUCTION (Buildings/Robotics - 2021-09 - ZDNet)
Rugged Robotics robots can autonomously mark fully coordinated designs directly on concrete floors. This critical field layout process marks the location of walls and mechanical systems.
SCAFFOLDING ROBOT TACKLES $50 BILLION CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY (Building/Robotics - 2021-09 - ZDNet)
A German company, Kewazo, is achieving success with a material-handling robot, Liftbot, designed for scaffolding installation.
WORLD'S FIRST 3D-PRINTED STEEL BRIDGE SPANS DUTCH CANAL (Bridge/Additive Manufacturing - 2021-07 - New Atlas)
MX3D has installed the world’s first 3D-printed stainless-steel bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. The actual printing process only took six months and was completed in 2018. The bridge measures 40 ft in length and has a width of 20 ft.
WORLD'S FIRST 3D-PRINTED SCHOOL IS NOW OPEN (School/Additive Manufacturing - 2021-07 - Interesting Engineering)
UK-based CDC Group in partnership with French-Swiss multinational building materials company, Lafarge Holcim, recently 3D-printed the walls of a school in Malawi in just 18 hours. Skilled, local workers completed the rest of the structure.
AMERICA’S FIRST 3D PRINTED HOMES FOR SALE (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2021-03 - ArchDaily)
Kansas City developer 3Strands has announced America’s first 3D-printed two to four bedroom homes for sale in Austin, Texas.
THREE STOREY 3D-PRINTED APARTMENT BUILDING IN GERMANY (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2020-11 - Singularity Hub)
A German construction company, PERI Group, has begun work on a 3D-printed three-storey apartment building near Munich. The building will have five separate apartments and a total square footage of 4,090. The project is a collaboration with COBOD, a Danish company.
ROBOTS USING AI TO DRYWALL FLAT SURFACES (Building Trades/Robotics - 2020-11 - Wired)
Canvas has built a robot using AI that’s capable of drywalling with almost as much artistry as a skilled human worker. The four-wheeled robot navigates an unfinished building carrying laser scanners and a robotic arm fitted to a vertical platform.
A NEW MATERIAL IS USED TO BUILD A 350 SQ FT STUDIO IN 24 HOURS (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2020-11 - Popular Science)
California-based Mighty Buildings has developed a proprietary 3D-printing technology and material that will let it create the curved shell of a 350-square-foot home in roughly 24 hours. The material is a proprietary synthetic substance called Light Stone Material that hardens when it’s exposed to UV light.
PLASTERING ROBOT DEVELOPED FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES (Robotics - 2020-11 - World Construction Today)
South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co. announced that it has developed the nation’s first AI plastering robot that can flatten concrete floors by itself.
3D-printing for residential is market-ready: Germany's first building is under construction (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2020-10 - ArchDaily)
The first 3D-printed residential building in Germany is undergoing construction in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia. The two-story printed detached house with approx. 80 sq.m. of living space per floor is using a recently-approved construction technique put into practice in Germany for the first time.
Europe’s biggest 3D printer helps create an entire two-story house (Homebuilding/Additive Manufacturing - 2020-07 - Digital Trends)
In Belgium, Europe’s largest 3D printer (32’ x32’) was recently used to print the shell of an entire two-storey house. The roof and windows were then added.
A robotic excavator can dig a pipeline trench without a human in the cab (Heavy Equipment/Robotics - 2020-03 - Wired)
The International Union of Operating Engineers is training members to work with a modified Caterpillar 336 excavator that uses onboard computers and sensors to perform by itself some of the work the center trains human operators to do, such as digging trenches for gas pipelines or wind turbine foundations.
Boring Company completes first tunnel under Las Vegas Convention Centre (Tunnels/Hyperloop - 2020-02 - Singularity Hub)
In February 2020, Elon Musk’s Boring Company finished excavating the first of two tunnels for a new transportation system that will run underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center. The second tunnel will run parallel to the first, creating a loop to carry people back and forth in modified Tesla Model 3 and Model X cars at up to 155 mph. The one-mile-long tunnel was completed in 90 days.
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