Prof. Amol B. Kawade, Miss. Chaitali R. Satpute
Amrutvahini College of Engineering, Sangamner
Although automation has advanced in manufacturing, the growth of automation in construction has been slow. Conventional methods of manufacturing automation do not lend themselves to construction of large structures with internal features. This may explain the slow rate of growth in construction automation. Contour Crafting (CC) is a recent layered fabrication technology that has a great potential in automated construction of whole structures as well as sub-components. Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, imbedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning. Our research also addresses the application of CC in building habitats on other planets. CC will most probably be one of the very few feasible approaches for building structures on other planets, such as Moon and Mars, which are being targeted for human colonization before the end of the new century. Contour Crafting is an emerging technology that uses robotics to construct free form building structures by repeatedly laying down layers of material such as concrete. The Contour Crafting technology scales up automated additive fabrication from building small industrial parts to constructing buildings. Optimal machine operation planning for Contour Crafting benefits the technology by increasing the efficiency of construction, especially for complicated structures. The research reported here has aimed at providing a systematic solution for improving the overall Contour Crafting system efficiency in building custom-designed buildings. An approach is first presented to find the optimal machine operation plan for the single nozzle Contour Crafting system. Other approaches are then presented to determine collision-free operation plans for machines with multiple nozzles. The models developed incorporate physical constraints as well as some practical construction issues.