Appreciations towards Professor XU Weiguo’s team from the Tsinghua University School of Architecture （contact：email@example.com）for providing the following description:
Robotic 3D printing concrete construction technology is one of the R&D works in School of Architecture in Tsinghua University which has been granted to the stage of commercialization and has been applied experimentally in several practices. Currently, a functional, delightful, sturdy, and energy-efficient farmhouse has been built through 3D printing technology in Wujiazhuang Village, Xiahuayuan, Zhangjiakou.
▼农宅户主喜入新居，the villagers have moved to their new house © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
This technology, based on digital architectural design methods and robotic automation control systems, is independently developed by Professor Xu Weiguo’s interdisciplinary research team. It is an innovative intelligent building approach combining 3D printing with special concrete material technology. The application of that technology leads to advantages including manpower-saving, high fabrication efficiency, low construction cost, and fine print resolution. Besides the construction of conventional architecture design, it also steps forward to create various beautiful irregular geometries.
▼农宅西立面，west facade © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼农宅西南视角照片，view to the house from the southwest © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
The Wujiazhuang Village farm house covers an area of 106 square meters. Its style comes from local traditional cave dwelling, and it contains 3 large rooms (a living room and 2 bedrooms) with arch roofs and 2 small rooms (a kitchen and a toilet) with flat roofs.
▼农宅鸟瞰，aerial view © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
The printing process was conducted by three sets of mobile robotic 3DP equipment, which were placed along the axis of the three large rooms respectively. The foundation and wall were printed directly on site whereas the arch roofs were printed alongside the trail of the equipment. When the printing process was completed, the arch roofs were then assembled on the printed wall by a crane. The exterior facade is decorated with weaving texture, which is printed integrally with the structural wall. The center of the wall is filled with thermal insulation materials, forming an integrated exterior wall system including decoration, structure, and thermal insulation.
▼移动打印平台施工现场，mobile robotic 3DP equipment © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼拱顶预制打印现场，prefabrication of the arch roofs © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼打印编织纹理墙面，exterior facade with weaving texture © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
The design process adopts the way of digital design workflow. The design was initiated by parametric tools and involved structural analysis and printing process simulation from the very beginning. The concept design, structural design, MEP design, printing route and code, and interior design of the house were all based on 3D digital models to ensure information transmission accuracy and improve feedback efficiency.
▼结构计算，structural calculation © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
Structural safety of buildings is an important element of 3D printing as a new construction method. After the building prototype is completed, civil engineer used Midas software to calculate and analyze the digital model. Firstly, with the front-end size of the 3D printing equipment preset, the size of each component was determined by analyzing and comparing various scenarios of the truss layout in walls and arches. Secondly, the component sizes were delivered to the entirety to conduct internal force analysis. Finally, a reasonable constructing and hoisting plan came out through the force analysis of the hoisting process. The design process of the structure is closely coordinated with the building form modeling, and the parametric digital model provides a smooth way to realize the digital information exchange between architecture and structure.
To further confirm the feasibility of the structure, the destruction tests of the key components such as walls, arch roofs, and flat roofs were carried out. A scaled shaking table test on the whole structure was also carried out and verified that the structure of the 3D printed building met the requirements.
▼3D打印混凝土墙体的结构破坏试验，the printed concrete wall during destruction tests © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
The “3D printing concrete robotic arms mobile platform” contains a mobile robotic arm with a 3D printing tool, a track with a mobile lift platform, and a towing platform. In the 3D printing equipment, the robotic arm with a 3DPC tool is mounted on the lifting platform; a machine integrated with the function of loading, stirring, and pumping material is placed on the towing platform. Only two workers are needed to operate the mobile platform to complete the printing process of the whole house. It fully integrates and simplifies the 3D concrete printing process, and significantly reduces the manpower input in the construction process.
▼西南角细节，the southwest corner © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼室内-卧室和客厅，interior view: the bedroom and the living room © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼农宅及南院，the courtyard in the south © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼院墙细节，courtyard wall detailed view © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
Implementing rural construction initiatives, improving the rural construction level, and promoting the comprehensive revitalization of rural areas are related to the overall situation of economic and social development and the vital interests of rural residents. These are the key tasks deployed by the Central Economic Work Conference this year. To continuously ameliorate the rural living environment, upgrade the modernization level of villages, and improve the quality of farms houses, specific construction methods need to be defined. Accordingly, the promotion and utilization of robotic 3D concrete printing and construction technology will become a specific measure and an effective approach.
▼打印过程，printing process © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
▼平面图，plan © 清华大学建筑学院徐卫国教授团队
项目设计 & 完成年份：2020&2020
MainTeam: XU Weiguo, GAO Yuan, SUN Chenwei, CUI Fang, ZHANG Zhiling, HAN Dong, HE Yuting, LIN Zhipeng, ZUO Jie, MEI Yue, WU Wenjian, HUANG Shuyi, MAO Yuxuan;
Civil Engineer: WANG Hao (Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University), FENG Peng (consultant) & ZHANG Daobo (School of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University)
Construction: Wuxi HeQing Digital Construction Technology Co,.Ltd.