CEMENT3D was my senior design project. Here is a brief description from out final report: Recent advances in additive manufacturing have made it possible for nearly anyone to participate in the so-called “maker movement”. However, projects are limited by restrictions on size and material. For large home projects, or those which require strong parts, homeowners must rely on more costly and time-intensive, traditional processes. To address this need, Team CEMENT3D is developing a user-friendly, portable, 3D printer that can build highly customizable structures. To undertake this challenge, CEMENT3D first began by testing and analyzing the mechanical and material properties of cement to validate the feasibility of 3D printing concrete at the human scale. CEMENT3D then proceeded to design and prototype portable structures that were efficiently able to satisfy the systems’ loading, torsional and bending characteristics. Finally, the team designed an actuation system capable of precisely controlling a print head. The result is a 3D printer that enables a user to print structures comprised of multiple layers of concrete. CEMENT3D’s final 3D printer weighs only 40lbs, despite having a relatively large print area of 1m x 1m x 0.5m. The printer fits in a 1.25m x 1.25m x 1.25m cube, can be assembled together within an hour by two people, and is anticipated to have a user rental price of $200 over a period of 10 days. With this printer, CEMENT3D hopes to enable homeowners to conveniently build dog kennels, patios, or fire pits at the simple push of a button.
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