The only difference what MIT is achieving and RMHs require is just a matter of scale. It would be pretty neat to set a 3D printer on your floor, pour in the materials, come back a week or so later and have a stove that is one monolithic block of high temp ceramic material.
This material has the potential to be at some very high temperature at one end and the other end still be very cold, notice how the heat of the blow torch
did not travel to the hand that was holding that piece.
For decades the Automobile people have been trying to develop usable Ceramic Engine Blocks: I expect that when you see progress there then we may
have rentable machines programed to build us a new generation of rocket mass heaters. I would love to be wrong ! For the Crafts. Big AL
This might find application in a shippable core, though I doubt it will be competitive for built-in-place installations. Who knows, though? I do think the high-tech fossil-fuel-dependent machine and materials are not sustainable for the long term.
Terry Ruth wrote:A week? More like a day at best. I've designed litho parts before for aircraft in production today, the NC head moves very rapidly. There are some size limitations but that is getting larger with more remote tooling. This is an interesting material break through. The big question for RMH is what kind of specific heat or mass storage does the polymer have. That may differ from heat resistant, high r-value, or high melting point. As with most plastics probably not natural, probably a fossil fuel or petro-based, and a high carbon footprint.
Yes production machines are very fast, and also very expensive.
I am thinking more along the lines of a Ultimaker or Rep-Rap, just scaled up. Those type machines are very slow in comparison, but their initial costs are lower.
Very interesting and eye opening.
Attached is the Fused Deposition HVAC duct I did for large corporate first of last year now in full production. I hired in as a consultant then left before getting a photo of the production part. I posted this to illustrate an example of what the article is referring to. The magenta looking one-piece air distribution duct would be impossible or very difficult to machine due to cutter access or make from composite. The FD machine built this part with no tooling and labor hours and it did it fast within 6 hours.
I find it interesting the new buzz word is "additive manufacturing" and I agree with the article, it combined with "just in time" manufacturing where we do no need long lead times and/or stock to supply a production run is going to change the game beyond our current imaginations. This will be beneficial to the architect/builder in developing a lean production schedule and mass production.
The hype in the article, the last I checked anyway, was that many of the printable materials have mechanical property issues for load applications due to growth direction (the material is laid in one direction, like laying spaghetti strands and the weak link is between the strands), now however it looks like they are changing the material in the build process to change the mechanical properties to hybrid.
Like the rest the article noted, I think the construction industry is going to take a hard hit in labor reductions. Machines will continue to replace humans. There is another side to this, 3D Model Based Definition (MBDs) will eliminate 2D drawing's, illustrations, and paper and replace it with other CAD_CAM technologies. I'm pondering how to do that with my production homes now. I think the first big hit will be the factory & manufactured products. Local fast manufacturing will cut building cost. As far as remote gantry producing whole building mass productions, I do not think that will happen in the next ten years, especially where access is limited. There is also too much to be worked out with trades and inspection(QA) and the industry as a whole would require a major redo.