The infrastructure of New York's shoreline is in bad shape and 3D printing company D-Shape is ready to take on the job of repairing it. D-Shape was recently awarded first place (and $50,000) in the NYC Waterfront Construction Competition for their plans to print customized concrete supports for failing structures.
New York has about 300 miles of waterfront land that needs attention and the city is trying to avoid spending billions of dollars to repair all the damaged piers. The pilings underneath many of the piers are wearing down and replacing them is expensive, and time consuming. That is, until D-Shape suggested a 3D printable solution.
The D-Shape 3D Printer
The process will begin with a 3D scan of each damaged piling. Then, the D-Shape team will work with the physics of the problem. They will use a generative algorithm to design something like a customized concrete Band-Aid that wraps around the pilings to shore them up.
Once they have the design down, the supports will be printed using the D-Shape 3D printer. After printing, the concrete supports will be floated out and installed. D-Shape also has plans to work with local artists to give the supports a bit of visual appeal.
All told, the D-Shape plan is expected to save the city around $2.9 billion dollars.
This isn't the first time this month that D-Shape has been in the news. Not only do they plan to shore up New York, they are working with NASA to create 3D printed space habitats made out of lunar soil.