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Development of Digital Modelling Tools, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1081

Research Proposal

Development of Digital Modelling Tools and Techniques to Support Structural Design Calculation and Simulation

Introduction

In engineering, several technologies have been developed to integrate automation in construction, attributed to benefits such as reduced costs of production, improved safety in construction sites, and reduced construction time (Lim et al., 2012). In this sense, additive manufacturing (AM) has been hailed as an innovative engineering concept that allows for the joining of construction materials to design and make objects from 3D models. As a result, Additive Manufacturing has facilitated the process of making cement-based mortars (3D Concrete Printing) among other digital fabrication methods that lead to the modernization of construction. Nonetheless, current tools and techniques in 3D modelling in construction depict compromised quality and procedural production constraints due to a lack of large-scale experience in designing objects and synchronizing production. From this perspective, the development of digital modelling tools and techniques to support structural design calculation and simulation is a subject of interest in the engineering and construction sector as a way of improving the design and making of cement-based objects that enhance efficiency in construction, as well as improving the quality of construction objects.

Research Problem

Although Additive Manufacturing has been used for commercial purposes for several decades, visualization tools and functional prototypes are still advancing at a promising rate. Large-scale application of 3D modelling in the construction sector has not been efficiently developed despite significant progress in the cement-based Additive Manufacturing process. For example, most 3D modelling tools and techniques are sparingly being used to satisfy engineering curiosity, and critical technical challenges are evident with large-scale design and making of construction material. In this sense, the quality of materials and the efficiency of the process are still challenging; hence, the need for the development of efficient digital modelling tools and techniques to support structural designs and simulation. Consequently, today’s state-of-the-art production processes are highly synchronized to reduce production timelines and minimize labor and other related costs. In this sense, 3D modelling tools and techniques in the construction sector have not reached this advancement stage, which necessitates the development of cement-based 3D modelling tools and techniques. This is mainly because current Additive Manufacturing tools and techniques complicate synchronized design and production of material; hence, lack of precision and quality of produced materials.

Aims and Objectives

The research’s long-term goal is to develop efficient cement-based 3D modelling tools and techniques that will help address current procedural and quality challenges associated with Additive Manufacturing in the construction sector. As such, the research seeks to define, identify, classify and resolve 3D modelling challenges and assess possibilities and opportunities of developing practical 3D modelling tools and techniques that will allow for the design of structural calculations and simulations. To achieve this result, the current research will provide a comprehensive review of the literature and the contemporary industrial practices that relate to Additive Manufacturing in the engineering and construction industry based on modern and innovative technologies. As a result, the research will address the following study sub-objectives;

  1. Provide a concise and comprehensive review of sources and characteristics that relate to 3D modelling and associated constraints
  2. Develop a constraints classification of 3D modelling tools and techniques for easier identification of Additive Manufacturing challenges
  3. Review current industry practices and scholarly studies towards addressing 3D modelling tools and technique challenges
  4. Develop a conceptual framework that will facilitate the development of 3D modelling tools and techniques to support structural design calculation and simulation

Review of Literature

The world’s modernity is characterized by developing technologies and innovative ideas that can be applied in various professions and sectors to improve efficiency and enhance performance (Lim et al. 202). Notably, Additive Manufacturing has facilitated the process of making cement-based mortars (3D Concrete Printing) among other digital fabrication methods that lead to the modernization of construction. In this regard, additively manufactured parts have indicated native surface finishes through the sequential layering of construction materials (cement-based mortar), highlighting the success of Additive Manufacturing and 3D modelling in reproducing features with precision and high-quality surfaces (Xu et al. 2020). For example, the quality of manufactured parts is influenced by the staircase effect but compromised by self-weight, leading to deformation. Quantifying the precision of 3D modelling technologies is an essential consideration in the process of defining quality controls and capabilities, which is an approach that can revolutionize dimensioning of construction materials and the effectiveness of the designs (Buswell et al., 2018).

Research Methodology

The primary research method for the following research is conceptual modelling and literature review. In this case, the research will seek to understand the constraints and challenges impacting 3D modelling tools and techniques through scholarly works that address the issue and practical or industrial application of Additive Manufacturing. The second part of the research will seek to classify and examine approaches to which 3D modelling tools can be developed to attain modern standards regarding the quality of construction materials and procedural efficiency in producing cement-based mortar construction materials. Finally, the research will define a conceptual framework through which 3D modelling can be effectively and efficiently applied in modern construction sites based on surveys and case studies that offer solutions to the constraints mentioned above and challenges.

Ethical Considerations

The research will consider the different approaches and alternatives in the design of proposed 3D modeling tools and techniques to ensure the compatibility of the proposed ideas with safety and values requirements in the field. In this sense, the value and safety of employees and third parties in the construction industry will be prioritized, ensuring acceptable tradeoffs between the design of 3D modelling tools and techniques and other factors such as production costs and quality of the resulting materials. Similarly, the research will consider the quality of products produced based on the recommendations of the study in terms of design and quality standards as stipulated by design process ethical values and requirements. As such, the research will account for the adverse outcomes that can potentially be realized using the proposed 3D modelling tools and techniques in supporting calculations and simulation as evident with current industrial practices and ethical standards.

References

Buswell, R. A., De Silva, W. L., Jones, S. Z., & Dirrenberger, J. (2018). 3D printing using concrete extrusion: A roadmap for research. Cement and Concrete Research112, 37-49.

Lim, S., Buswell, R. A., Le, T. T., Austin, S. A., Gibb, A. G., & Thorpe, T. (2012). Developments in construction-scale additive manufacturing processes. Automation in construction21, 262-268.

Xu, J., Buswell, R. A., Kinnell, P., Biro, I., Hodgson, J., Konstantinidis, N., & Ding, L. (2020). Inspecting manufacturing precision of 3D printed concrete parts based on geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. Automation in Construction117, 103233.

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