Talk session with Doctor Dini/ Beyond 3D Printing
Enrico Dini's story, the man who invented the idea of 3D printing concrete houses by binder jetting, is in many ways a modern version of these: a modern odyssey for the future of construction.
From the very start, Dini implemented a huge format binder jetting type of process, which could truly deliver the promise of virtually unlimited geometric freedom in constructions. Dini is a celebrity in 3D printing today and a very humble person, very friendly and willing to share his knowledge.
Dini experimented with sand and water (incidentally creating the very first 3D printed sandcastle) and, a few years later, met up with constructor Roberto Nannini. He and Moreno Chiarugi deposited the first construction 3D printing patent (Method and Device for Building Automatically Conglomerate Structures) initially patented in 2005. Now the challenge was to find proper financing. The patent was based on a sand and epoxy resins mixture. This method was chosen to avoid any risk of patent infringement on cement-based automation processes.
In 1997, he was the very first to publish a whitepaper on automated cement construction processes, envisioning an intermediate operation to glue sand layers together with a Portland cement paste. 3DCP combines digital technology and new insights from materials technology, allowing freeform construction without expensive formwork.
Enrico then moved to the UK, where he founded Monolite UK Ltd., the first firm entirely dedicated to building houses using additive manufacturing technologies.
His 3D printers called D-Shape™ is a modular machine that can be manufactured in a wide range of dimensions are now located worldwide to print bridges, houses and other artefacts. The 3D printer can be easily assembled and dismantled, ready to be shipped in a 24ft container.
Dr Dini is now involved in building villages on the Moon in the following decade with substantial 3D printers. These modules shall be inhabited for months at a time by teams of astronauts.
The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that a new Moon village could provide a potential springboard for future missions to Mars.
Robots will be deployed on the Moon to begin constructing various facilities, followed a few years later by the first inhabitants.
"First, we needed to mix the simulated lunar material with magnesium oxide. This turns it into 'paper' we can print with", Enrico Dini, founder of UK manufacturing company, Monolite, said at the time. The UK's Monolite supplied the D-Shape printer with a mobile printing array of nozzles on a 6 m frame to spray a binding solution onto a sand-like building material. This printer builds at a rate of around 2 mt per hour, while the next-generation printer should attain 3.5 mt per hour, completing an entire building in a week.
The 3D printer nozzle has been inserted beneath the regolith layer. It was found that tiny two mm-scale droplets stay trapped by capillary forces in the soil, meaning the printing process can indeed work in a vacuum. Simulated lunar regolith is produced for scientific testing by specialist companies, typically sold by the kilogram. But the team required many tonnes for their work. Dr Dini found another beneficial outcome, discovering a European source of simulated lunar regolith. Basaltic rock from one volcano in central Italy bears a 99.8% resemblance to lunar soil.
Factors such as controlling lunar dust – hazardous to breathe in – and thermal aspects will require further study. 3D printing works best at room temperature, but over much of the Moon, temperatures vary enormously across days and nights, lasting two weeks each. For potential settlement, the lunar poles offer the most moderate temperature range.
AIM Group is currently collaborating with Dr Dini on different projects and can provide technical details for projects in the countries in
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|HK Capital Works Contracts Awarded
The following is a summary of the contracts awarded from December 2020 to March 2021 at a value more than HK$30M, in accordance with the Government Logistics Department, Procurement and Contracts Management System. The full list can be consulted from this link.
● 6 Jan, 2021/
Construction of subway in support of the provision of columbarium at Shek Mun- Amount: HK$149,150,000.00
● 31 Dec, 2021/
Design and construction of Drainage Services Department Building at Cheung Sha Wan Sewage Pumping Station
- Amount: HK$1,769,664,000.00
● 28 Dec, 2020/
Construction of Water Supplies Department Headquarters and Correctional Services Department Headquarters Building in Chai Wan- Amount: HK$2,797,000,000.00
● 24 Dec, 2020/
Extension of Hong Chi Morninghill School, Tuen Mun, New Territories- Amount: HK$49,800,000.00
● 22 Dec, 2020/
Redevelopment of Kowloon Tsai Swimming Pool Complex- Amount: HK$677,000,000.00
●21 Dec, 2020/
Construction of columbarium, Garden of Remembrance and related works at On Hing Lane, Shek Mun, Sha Ti - Amount: HK$563,800,000.00
● 18 Dec, 2020/
Construction of Open Space at Hoi Fai Road, Tai Kok Tsui- Amount: HK$73,683,153.00
● 16 Dec, 2020/
Construction of a Footbridge with Lift Tower to Connect the Ap Lei Chau Wind Tower Park and Ap Lei Chau Estate- Amount: HK$62,800,000.00
● 10 Dec, 2020/
Construction of district library and residential care home for the elderly in the Joint User Complex at Lei King Road- Amount: HK$578,000,000.00
● 3 Dec, 2020/
Construction of Hoi Sham Park Extension, To Kwa Wan- Amount: HK$207,200,000.00