- A new Chinese dam would become the tallest 3D printed structure in the world.
- Engineers believe they can build the dam in two years while eliminating the need for human labor at the dam site.
- Artificial intelligence will control the unmanned machines to build the overall structure.
Chinese engineers will take ideas from a research paper and turn it into the world’s largest 3D printed project. Within two years, those responsible for this project want to fully automate the unmanned construction of a 590-foot-high dam on the Tibetan plateau to build the Yangqu hydroelectric power station, entirely with robots.
The article, published last month in the Journal of Tsinghua University (Science and Technology), drew up the plans for the dam, as the first reported in the South China Morning Post. Researchers from the State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing explain the backbone of automation for the planned dam on the Yellow River that will eventually deliver nearly five billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually. (It should be noted that China’s Three Gorges Dam – a hydroelectric gravity dam spanning the Yangtze River, pictured above – is the world’s largest power station by energy production.)
But it’s hard to say which is more ambitious: the fact that researchers plan to turn a dam site into a massive 3D printing project, or that at every stage of the process, the project is eliminating human workers because they become fully robotic.
In the process of “printing” the dam, machines will deliver construction materials to the job site – the exact location needed, eliminating human error, they say – then unmanned bulldozers, paving stones and rollers will form the dam layer by layer. Sensors on the rollers will keep the artificial intelligence (AI) system informed of the firmness and stability of each of the 3D printed layers until it reaches 590 feet in height, roughly the same height as the Shasta Dam in California and shorter than the Hoover Dam is 726 feet.
With the tallest 3D printed structures in existence standing at around 20 feet tall – from houses in china has a office building in Dubai, the exploration of 3D printed projects continues to grow. We have already seen a 1,640 foot long retaining wall in China, housing and office buildings around the world, and now the US military has plans for the barracks of Fort Bliss in Texas.
Liu Tianyun, the paper’s lead author, says the central AI system keeps the robotic assembly line running and 3D printing going on at the Chinese dam site, while eliminating human safety concerns. and removing human error from the process. This could ensure the efficient delivery of materials and the precision needed to keep each layer of the dam in line and level.
With an already expanding array of 3D printed projects around the world, if China can achieve this feat in two years, led by an AI system controlling a fleet of robots, it could open up future possibilities for 3D printed construction. 3D controlled by AI. projects.
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