Northwestern Students Ready to Present Concrete 3D Printer?

Barely any sand remains in the top of the hour-glass. This is it. Before the final demonstration of a concrete 3D printer prototype on June 2nd, our favorite Northwestern University mechanical engineering students check back in with their weekly progress report. Let’s see what they’re up to…

Hello once again!

With the BuiltWorldsNU team’s final presentation looming on Thursday, the culmination of over five months of work is coming together. Over 1000 pages of reports, countless tests, hours of presentations, long nights in the prototyping lab, and nearly our entire budget have led us to this point. Just a few days away from our long-awaited unveiling of our concrete 3D printer prototype, we have finally performed a print with all systems working together. Our first successful extrusions can be seen below.

We were a little nervous about how our new pump would work with the rest of the prototype (concrete explosion round two?!?) but it has worked like a charm so far. Thankfully, Andy didn’t even have to substitute himself into manually control the concrete delivery this time; we like having him as a team member instead of part of the printer.

We still have some kinks to work out to ensure that our prototype can be used as an effective demonstration device. One important decision still to be made is the material choice and composition to use for demonstration purposes.

Another important aspect to figure out is cleaning the concrete hose. Our first attempt (see video to the right) did not go very well, and in order to use the prototype for multiple demonstrations (worldwide tour, perhaps?) we will need to be able to clean the system between extrusions.

There will be some more testing and refinement to make sure everything is working properly, and hopefully let us sleep a little easier the night before our presentation.

Until next time!