3D-printed wax molds could be the way to make the construction world greener and more climate-friendly.
According to Science Nordic, They may not seem like a big deal at first, but they’re crucial for ensuring the concrete sets into the desired form, which is essential for structural integrity.
Formworks are the pillars of the construction world, leaving a big imprint not only on the final structure but also on our wallets and our planet.
Unfortunately, old-school ways of making formwork can be quite pricey and create tons of waste, not really in line with our dream of a greener, more sustainable construction industry, right?
Well, that’s exactly why we’ve set off on an exciting challenge to uncover smarter, circular solutions. Our goal? To change and innovate formwork creation, making it as Circular as possible!
Just like baking, construction also leaves behind its share of crumbs, but instead of cookie crumbs, it’s carbon and other emissions, not only from wasteful formwork but especially from concrete production.
This is a serious concern, considering we’re trying to tread lightly on our beautiful planet.
So, we decided to explore greener options for formwork production that incentivize the use of digital tools to optimize concrete structures using less concrete.
We’re looking for an approach that cuts down on waste, keeps costs low, makes the best use of concrete, and of course, marches in step with the industry’s sustainability goals.
Dipping our toes into the realm of advanced technology, we’re exploring a game-changing approach using a particular kind of additive manufacturing known as (MEX) Material Extrusion. Our big idea? Creating formwork using 3D-printed wax molds.
In simpler terms, imagine having a 3D printer, but instead of printing out a solid plastic object that you can’t change, we print out special molds made from wax. These molds can be used to create intricate and customized designs for construction work.
One of the most remarkable features of these wax molds is their reusability. According to a study by the European Environment Agency, construction and demolition activities generate around 374 million tons of waste annually .
Another study found that nearly 20 percent of this waste comes specifically from timber formwork.
Our approach aims to tackle this issue head-on. After the mold has served its purpose, the wax can be melted down, filtered, and reused several times with minimal losses.