Additive technologies are being put to use in South Korea to manufacture artificial coral reefs using high-strength hydrophobic concrete and construction 3D printers developed in Russia by AMT-Specavia.
In recent years the ecological situation in the waters of the Yellow Sea has deteriorated drastically due to human activity: the water is polluted, the marine flora is suffering, and a large portion of coral colonies has died. The government of the Republic of Korea launched a state initiative to address this problem by improving the habitat for the local fish population. The plan is to build artificial coral reefs in coastal waters, so that they would be populated by new colonies and serve as an alternative to natural shelters for marine life. Project member Dongsan Concrete Industry Co. Ltd. decided to use additive technologies, since manufacture of geometrically complicated concrete structures would be prohibitively expensive both cost and time-wise.
Last year representatives of the South Korean enterprise visited the Russian city of Yaroslavl to meet with the local manufacturer of construction 3D printers AMT-Specavia. A supply contract was signed, and early this year the first 3D printer arrived on site along with a team of instructors to supervise commissioning and staff training.
The printer in question is an industrial grade system S-6044 Long 2 with a work volume of 7.5*7.4*2.7 meters, capable of 3D printing structures over on area of 55 square meters or roughly 600 square feet. Different consumables may be used, including geopolymer concrete, gypsum, clay and specialized mortars. The process is fairly straightforward and broadly similar to printing with widely available desktop 3D printers: production steps include creating a three-dimensional digital model of an object, slicing it into layers and transforming the data into machine code by means of special software, laying down the mixture in predetermined patterns with an extrusion head, and waiting for the material to harden. About AMT-Specavia
AMT-Specavia is the leading Russian developer and the first local serial manufacturer of construction 3D printers, ranging from smaller systems intended to 3D print small architectural forms to large ones for erecting buildings up to 30 floors high. The research and development is carried out with the grant support of the Skolkovo Foundation. AMT-Specavia additive systems were used to build the first 3D printed office building in Europe and the first 3D printed residential building in Europe and the CIS. The equipment is certified in the Eurasian Customs Union and the EU. Additional information is available on the official website
of AMT-Specavia. Press release