3D printing of masonry structures for centrifuge modelling

Stefan Ritter, Matthew J. DeJong, Giorgia Giardina, Robert J. Mair

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

4 Citations (SciVal)


Centrifuge modelling necessitates large scale factors due to space and payload limitations. Hence, replicating details of a prototype is difficult. This is particularly true for masonry buildings with highly nonlinear material properties and building features that affect the structural behaviour. This paper discusses powder based 3D printing to replicate masonry structures in centrifuge models. Four-point-bending tests determined the mechanical properties of the 3D printed material. Results reveal a variation in material properties with position and orientation of the 3D printed object in the print bed. After restricting the position of the model in the print bed, repeatable material properties with lower stiffness and higher strength than typical masonry were observed. However, building layout and window opening percentage could be adjusted to create building models with overall bending and axial stiffness typically obtained in the field. These improved 3D printed scale models were subsequently used in centrifuge tests exploring building response to tunnel subsidence. Results show that powder based 3D printed models provide a level of detail not previously simulated in the centrifuge, unlocking new information regarding this soil–structure interaction problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysical Modelling in Geotechnics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG 2018), July 17-20, 2018
EditorsAndrew McNamara, Sam Divall, Richard Goodey, Neil Taylor, Sarah Stallebrass, Jignasha Panchal
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780429438660
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2018


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