An Automated Quality Monitoring and Control Method for Concrete 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

Tech ID: 32492 / UC Case 2020-326-0

Brief Description

3D printing of concrete structures is a highly efficient, cheap process. However, imperfections are difficult to detect and can compromise the performance of these structures. UCI researchers have developed a method in which a current sent through the printed structure produces a “fingerprint” that allows the real-time detection of flaws in the concrete structure.

Suggested uses

·Detection of flaws and imperfections in concrete, cementitious materials, and clay

·Control and monitoring of 3D printing process


·Allows easy detection of flaws and imperfections in concrete, cementitious materials, and clay

·Allows control and monitoring throughout printing process, including adjustment of process and materials

·Increases safety, durability and performance of concrete structures 3D printed

Technology Description

3D-printing of concrete or clay materials is becoming a popular construction tool, as it is fast and cost-efficient. However, 3D printing is known to produce flaws and imperfections which can affect structural performance, safety, and durability in 3D printed concrete, structural materials.. The primary method to detect these flaws is visual inspection of the structure or materials.

The UCI researchers developed a method for printing 3D materials, including concrete, in which a current is sent through the printed materials and the current-dependent output is measured. In this method, a “fingerprint” is created, allowing in situ control and monitoring of the printing process. The fingerprint can show the nature and location of flaws and imperfections. This amazing method is a closed feedback loop, allowing real-time modifications of materials, speed, and even reverse printing to correct imperfections.

State Of Development

Working prototype created>/P>

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 2021-014663 05/20/2021 2020-326

Additional Patent Pending


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