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Customised steel connectors made with robotic 3D metal printing

Large scale metal printing company MX3D teamed up with Japanese architectural construction company Takenaka to create a structural steel connector using robotic 3D metal printing.

MX3D is best known for their 3D printed steel bridge, which you can read more about here and here. The goal of this project is to automate both the design and the production of complex connectors for large structures in the building industry.

The Structural Steel Connector is made using Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) and is made of Duplex stainless steel, an alloy with good mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. It has a hollow structure that is filled with concrete post-print. engineers. Filling concrete or mortar into steel tubes is commonly conducted in civil engineering and is called CFST (Concrete-Filled Steel Tube). This structures in which concrete is combined with steel are very effective and economical. The inner concrete core delays or prevents local buckling of steel, and the outer steel bears bending and tensile forces.

The Connector weighs about 40 kg (88 lbs) when hollow and 45 kg (99 lbs) after being filled with 2.5 litres (88.5 fl oz) of mortar.

The Structural Steel Connector is printed using an advanced version of the MX3D proprietary technology called MetalXL.

Photos: MX3D