Printability of materials for extrusion 3D printing technologies: a review of material requirements and testing
Keywords:Concrete, Cement, 3D printing, Testing, Additive manufacturing, Construction, Printability
One of the major challenges facing 3D printing for construction is the technological suitability, ‘printability’, of the materials used. These cement-based materials differ from those used in other sectors, which has a series of conditioning factors that are the object of the present analysis. This article first reviews the definition of the term ‘printability’ and its constituent stages. Those stages condition the requirements to be met by cement-based materials, whether designed for other uses or developed ad hoc, and therefore the tests applicable to determine their aptitude for use in additive manufacturing for construction. That is followed by a review of the standardised tests presently in place for mortars and concretes that can be used to verify a material’s compliance with such requirements. The paper concludes with a recommendation on the advisability of developing a standard test or suite of tests to ascertain printability.
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