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3D Printing Could Help Create Self Repairing Cities
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Images courtesy of University of Leeds


You might not have heard of the term of “Self Repairing Cities”, but this project is now solving many urban tasks by using 3D Printing technology in UK.

Recently, the team at the University of Leeds is designing a drone platform features Print-Rite CoLiDo Delta 3D Printer that is capable of finding cracks and repairing them using 3D an asphalt 3D printing nozzle. This will prevent the cracks from developing into potholes.

Researchers working on the project said they aim to deploy the robots during the night as to avoid heavy amounts of traffic. They believe repairing road damages at an early stage using this method will minimise road congestion as well as costs of road closures and manual labour.

Dr. Bilal Kaddouh, research fellow at the university’s School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: “Having developed the asphalt nozzle in the lab we needed a robotic arm platform, with accurate position control, on which we could install the nozzle for demonstration and proof of concept purposes.”

“We decided to use an off-the-shelf 3D printer and heavily modify it to reduce prototyping time.”

“The printer has performed well so far, better than we expected actually, and has certainly helped in proving the concept.”

The University’s project is ongoing and half-way through the development phase. New generations of nozzles and arms are now being worked on. The next phase will include designing an arm with large operation space, that is suitable for the needs of the road repair. The team will also look at perfecting the crack identification and repair method using the developed asphalt 3D printing technology.

Published on: 2018-07-19

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