This Intelligent 3D Printer Is Building Big, Beautiful Structures

Imagine one day walking into a gorgeous structure—like LA’s famous Walt Disney Concert Hall—only to discover it was designed by a computer system and constructed by automated robotic arms.

Ai Build, a London-based startup, aims to pave the way to 3D printing on large scales.

The company is equipping industrial-grade Kuka robotic arms with artificial intelligence and “3D printing guns” to 3D print large structures that focus on maximizing efficiency with labor and materials.

3D printed Daedalus pavilion. Image credit: Ai Build
3D printed Daedalus Pavilion. Image credit: Ai Build

Founder and CEO Daghan Cam dreamed up the technology while considering traditional commercial construction and wondering what a more efficient and automated process might look like.

In October, the company partnered with engineering consulting firm Arup Engineers to debut the 3D printed “Daedalus Pavilion” at the GPU Technology Conference in Amsterdam. The structure is roughly 16 feet wide and 14 feet tall. Its 48 parts were printed in 15 days and assembled in less than one.

Ai Build’s system uses video cameras outfitted with machine learning algorithms to allow robots to learn from their mistakes—meaning they can operate more quickly, correcting for errors on the fly instead of moving slowly to prevent them. According to Cam, Ai Build’s arms can print in half the time it would take using standard techniques.

It’s a nod to a new wave of independently creative robots and AI systems that are slowly entering the manufacturing industry.

By leveraging cost-efficient materials and AI, the prospect of additive construction becoming an alternative to traditional construction seems like a not-too-distant reality.

It will be interesting to watch what other robotic systems Ai Build pairs their technology with as it progresses.

Image source: Ai Build

Alison E. Berman
Alison E. Berman
Alison tells the stories of purpose-driven leaders and is fascinated by various intersections of technology and society. When not keeping a finger on the pulse of all things Singularity University, you'll likely find Alison in the woods sipping coffee and reading philosophy (new book recommendations are welcome).
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