Roberto Lopez-Anido, James Anderson, Douglas Gardner, and Yousoo Han
University of Maine; USDOT
Automation, Composite materials, Concrete structures, Feasibility analysis, Fillers (Materials), Forming, Manufacturing, Precast concrete, Printers, Quality assurance, Recycling, Reinforcing materials, Service life, Specifications, Thermoplastic materials, Thermoplastic resins
The objectives of this project are to: (a) Identify potential applications for large-scale 3D printing of forms and tooling for precast concrete parts in transportation using bio-based fillers and reinforcements and cost-effective thermoplastic materials. (b) Determine the feasibility of making 3D printed forms for optimized precast concrete parts and elements to extend durability and reduce cost. (c) Document the demonstration of large-scale 3D printing of precast concrete forms and assess the quality of the parts. Establish material and manufacturing specifications to assist the departments of transportation (DOTs) implement this technology in transportation applications. (d) Investigate the potential for recycling the 3D print forms and tooling, and reusing/reprinting the wood-filled thermoplastic material to make it a capital asset for precasters.