3D-Printed Steel Structures Are As Efficient As They Are Awesome-Looking

3D-Printed Steel Structures Are As Efficient As They Are Awesome-Looking

No matter how many times you hear about a new breakthrough, 3D printing is amazing, transformative technology. Now, a new method for 3D printing steel joints stands to revolutionise the construction industry. It looks pretty badass too.

Arup, an engineering and design firm, has developed an additive manufacturing technique for critical structural steel elements that they say will make construction cheaper, less wasteful and more environmentally friendly. “By using additive manufacturing we can create lots of complex individually designed pieces far more efficiently,” Arup’s Salomé Galjaard said in a release. “This has tremendous implications for reducing costs and cutting waste. But most importantly, this approach potentially enables a very sophisticated design, without the need to simplify the design in a later stage to lower costs.”

The images Arup released along with the announcement certainly do showcase some very intricate designs that look like they’re inspired by cellular structures. They almost look like sculptures, instead of hardware. Of course, it doesn’t take much to improve on the current design:

It’s hard to know exactly how much of the design is cosmetic and how much is actually structural. The extent to which many of these pieces need to be custom-made in complex projects does highlight how effective a solution 3D-printing would be. No matter what they look like, this new method sounds like a big step in the right direction. [Arup via ArchDaily]

Pictures: David de Jong via Arup