The 3D-printed benches for the Mircea cel Batran alley meet the quality standards
Interview with Elena Meseat, Executive Director, 3D Stroy LTD
25 concrete 3D-printed benches were installed on the Mircea cel Batran Boulevard in Chisinau, with the support of Green City Lab, the Urban Innovation Laboratory of the Chisinau City Hall and UNDP Moldova. It is the first alley of its kind in the country. The benches are produced by an innovative method — construction of special composition created by 3D printing. The below interview depicts the way the printer creates urban furniture, the selection of the composition of the material used and about the durability of the objects created by this innovative method.
- What are the technological steps in producing a 3D-printed bench made of concrete?
The first step is the creation, through specialized software, of the bench model in 3D format. Then the blend of the 3D printer compatible materials (cement mortar, cement M400, plasticizers and fiber mix) is created, which also meets quality standards for the object to be built (small architectural forms).
In the case of the 3D benches installed on Mircea cel Batran alley, for easy transportation and installation, the bench segments were printed with a height of 15–17 cm, with a wall thickness of 3 cm, with the reinforcement mesh being embedded therein, and filled with concrete and expanded concrete (light and heavy concrete).
The next step involves fixing the wooden boards to the construction made by the printer, with the help of metal brackets and expansion dowels.
- In what areas/industries is this technology used?
3D printing technology is used worldwide to print small architectural forms, as well as to print fixed form-work for the construction of houses.
- What is the difference in the construction of a similar concrete bench using the classic method?
The main differences of this technology compared to the traditional creation of some small forms of concrete are the possibilities to create any type of design and print it, to quickly change the design solutions, to exclude the foldable form-work from the technological process, to reduce the number of workers involved in the process.
- What other 3D printing technologies are there?
There are also other 3D printing technologies, including plastic 3D printers and 3D printers used in medicine. Each industry has its own design features, equipment, printing, and materials used.
- How durable is a bench printed by your printer?
The use of certified traditional materials (cement, fiber, plasticizer) allows to obtain a product that meets 3D printing requirements and complies with resistance and durability standards. It is important to take into account the destination and functionality of the products. The benches are designed to sit and relax on them, but not to be vandalized or intentionally damaged.
- How did you develop the concept and design of the bench? Why did you choose this model?
We have opted for a modern design that would fit harmoniously into the landscape of the alley. Objects printed on the 3D printer have a layered structure, waiving forms, pleasing to the eye. Finally, the comfort was taken into account.