BUSWELL, R.A. ... et al, 2008. Design, data and process issues for mega-scale rapid manufacturing machines used for construction. Automation in construction, 17 (8), pp. 923-929.
Building three dimensional objects in sequential layers is a technique employed by Rapid Manufacturing processes which allow great freedom in the design of the manufactured component. Niche markets for these technologies are continually developing and they challenge conventional methods of design and procurement. In the last few years there have been large scale processes for construction applications developed based on Rapid Manufacturing principles. These processes offer construction automation, the promise of design freedom and the possibility of building in additional functionality into structures. This paper explores the issues surrounding design, data and process in terms of the impact Rapid Manufacturing has had on conventional manufacturing. Large scale processes for construction are described and these issues are then used as the basis for considering the impact these machines may have on the design and production of construction components.