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Tecnalia develops the first cable-driven robot that prints large-sized components in 3D

Together with the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), Tecnalia has developed the first cable-driven robot that allows large parts and even small buildings to be created in situ. The innovative technology includes the latest advances in the field of robotics, digital manufacturing and 3D printing.

This new cable-driven robot, known as Cogiro, makes it possible to produce customised parts and also to obtain information in real time about the status of a construction. So, among other improvements, it is possible to perfect the foundations when the thermal data on the drying status of the structure are obtained and thus avoid superimposing layers of material on bases that are still fresh and not very stable. The innovative system is based on a 15 x 11 x 6 m robot that has a built-in 3D printing machine with a work area of 13.6 x 9.4 x 3.3 m. It contains an extruder for clayey material and will shortly have one for cement-based material available as well. The robot is capable of accessing large work areas while ensuring the rigidity that guarantees the precision of the parts to be manufactured through the control of three displacements and three turns. Offering straightforward installation and low maintenance costs, cable-driven robotics has its transversal character reinforced as technology that can be applied in other construction work, such as the assembly and automatic maintenance of curtain walls. And in the logistics, aeronautical, renewable energies, shipbuilding and nuclear sectors, as well, to handle and automatically assemble large and small parts as well as automate processes such as painting, inspection and monitoring. The possibility of printing any part that has been modelled on computer beforehand constitutes a real change in the way production is conceived and also in the capabilities for customising the final product. The prototype of the cable-based robot is located on the TECNALIA premises in Montpellier (France) and is due to be presented at the BBConstrumat fair this coming May.