Using a robot, we will construct a building that has never been seen before
We will make a self-propelled 3D printer robot and build a free-design architecture. With your support, we will construct a prototype building this August on campus at the University of Tokyo.
We attended the 2018 SXSW Trade Show!!
We took part in the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) Trade Show held in Austin. Thank you to everyone for visiting our booth!!
Archileon is a “Small Construction System Robot”, a brand-new system applying 3D printing technology to architecture. By linking the blueprints of the building to the robot, it is able to construct buildings in a short time with few personnel. The robot follows the path which is the shape of the final product, ejecting geopolymer (material similar to cement) at the same time. It goes around the circumference round and round, printing walls layer by layer. Because it is a small car, there is little restriction on shape and height of the building. It’s basically a geopolymer emitting mini Zamboni.
Why construction 3D printing?
We believe that the social value of our projects lies in the following: departure from inconvenient architectural design and reduction of unnecessary construction costs. Today's architecture is a process that relies heavily on factory production; parts are made at the factory, transported to the construction site and assembled. Therefore, since factory-built construction requires a number of processes before being built on the site, it takes a large intermediate cost to be carried to the construction site. In addition, it is difficult to realize various designs because so many components are being mass produced.
How can it make changes?
Since our method does not use preconstructed components but instead prints out buildings on site according to blueprints, constructing new designs will become a simple and inexpensive matter.
- Less Work Force, Lower Cost & Shorter Construction Period
Japan is now facing a labor shortage, especially in the building industry. 30% of the workers are over 55 years old, so the situation will be worse in the next 5~10 years. Currently, there are many work that is done by manpower, such as assembling a mold.
Archileon ideally does not need any manpower, so it can operate 24 hours a day. This leads to shorter construction period, and less personal expenses. It is a remarkable difference especially when making a curved wall, which the construction fee is estimated as one third of the existing method. This estimate is guaranteed by an architect, Mr. Kumaki, and a contractor, Mr. Watanabe. It is also suitable for housing supply in disaster-stricken areas, where it’s crucial to shorten the construction period.
- Reduce CO2 emission
Production of reinforced-concrete generates huge amount of carbon dioxide, up to 758 kg-CO2 per ton. It is difficult to recycle when dismantling, so developing eco-friendly materials is a critical matter. Unlike the ordinary cement, the raw material we use is fly ash, unnecessary ash discharged from thermal power plants. Therefore, it can reduce up to 80% of carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional concrete.
Several research and projects are currently being conducted on construction 3D printing. However, most of them are made by attaching an extrusion nozzle to the tip of a robot arm, so the entire building cannot be integrally molded.
In addition, they are necessary to increase the machine size, according to the size of the building. That is, the machine must be bigger than the final product. Compared to this, because our printing machine is self-propelled, the machine will be the same small size, regardless of the size of the building.
We are also developing the material for 3D printing, trying to find the best proportion. Although development of construction 3D printing is carried out in various projects, most of the material research is based on existing cement type concretes. Our search for a better material using completely new raw material is what sets us apart.
Who am I?
Hi, I’m Yuta Hirayama. I’m a graduate student in the University of Tokyo, majoring in architecture. With the goal of "realizing unprecedented architectural design", I have launched this team called Archileon, serving as a representative. Our team consists of 6 members who are all students of the University of Tokyo, each majoring in architecture, machinery, materials, and so on. Also, we have Professor Nagatsuna, a business consultant, as a business advisor.
Where I got the idea
While studying in Barcelona, Spain, I saw the architectural beauty of the world, and wanted to renew Japanese architectural design. There, I saw both the architecture of advanced design, and buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Through that experience, I realized that the design changes drastically by the production method of the building. If computer technology was more utilized in the production of buildings, the design could be more complicated and close to our human senses, not just with simple and geometric shapes. I made up my mind to redesign architecture by inventing a next generation method for construction, showing a vision of future architecture.
March 11~14, 2018: South by Southwest (SXSW)
April 30, 2018: Have the installation site ready
August 1, 2018: Start making a prototype-building
August 31, 2018: Complete making a prototype-building
We will participate in an interactional festival in South by Southwest (well known as SXSW), an event that from all over the world gather together. In addition to hosting a booth of our "self-propelled construction robot", we will also participate in a session to make presentations in front of people from various backgrounds.
We will make a 3m cubed building as a prototype in August. We need your support to carry out our plan! The money will be used as the following:
- material cost
- construction facility cost
- location fee
- disposal fee
In the future…
We are also developing software to realize a 3D model drawn by CAD. Our aim is to build a building without any man power in the near future. Taking advantage of this, eventually, it may become possible to build in outer space, too!
Please visit our website at: archileon.com !!
Risks and challenges
There are some technical issues to overcome.
· We can not put the reinforcing rods in, though it has to be strong enough to withstand its own weight, earthquakes, wind, and snow. We will keep working to find out the the optimal formulation of the material.
· Currently, it is only for closed buildings. We will keep working to establish the method to make apertures.
· We have to establish the method to connect hose for sending materials and wiring cords for power supply to the machine.
· Due to the cure time of material, it takes 45 minutes to laminate 1.5 cm. We need to accelerate the curing of the material to shorten the construction time.
We still have to improve software, materials, and the machine itself for complete automation. However, we've realized a self-propelled robot that emits concrete. We very much need your help to overcome the issues!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)