MX3D produced a Structural Steel Connector, designed in collaboration with the engineers of Takenaka, one of the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in Japan. This project shows the progress in the production of highly customized and engineered steel connectors using robotic 3D metal printing, i.e. Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). The Steel Connector’s net weight is 40Kg reaching up to 45Kg after its hollow core was filled with approximately 2.5 liters of mortar. MX3D has 3D printed this connector using Duplex stainless steel, an alloy renown for its good mechanical properties and excellent corrosion resistance, ideal for structural design.
The goal of this project is to automate both the design and production of complex connectors for large structures in the building industry. As the complexity of structures increases and skilled labour in countries with aging populations is less available such innovation is much required in the building industry. Closing the digital design loop is another key focus point for the construction industry. The method used to produce this connector allows for full digital control over the design, production, timeline and cost with great logistic benefits and excellent integration with BIM applications.