Awarded Grants - 2023
3D printing of microbial bio-cement
Grant beneficiary: Karen Andrea Antorveza Paez
Sending research group: ETH Zurich, Department of Architecture, Digital Building Technologies (DBT)
Receiving research group: EPFL, Geosystems and Natural Resources, Laboratory of Soil Mechanics
The EXCHANGE program provided an opportunity to familiarize oneself with the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics at EPFL, including introductions to the team members and an overview of the lab's research interests. A presentation on bio-cementation further contextualized the focus on microbiologically induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) and the large-scale methods the research group has developed.
Following the introduction to the lab and its tools, the investigation focused on exploring the conditions for MICP-based 3D printing paste based on an experimental approach. Dr. Dimitrios Terzis supervised the practical activities, which involved testing different concentrations of key components, such as bacteria solution, granulates, polymer, and calcium chloride. Extrusion with a syringe and mold preparation techniques were employed to assess the paste's suitability for 3D printing. Further development of the initial experiments, such as testing different ratios compositions and mechanical characterization, must be done.
The conducted experiments established an initial solid collaboration with the host institution. In the future, we plan to combine their bio-cementation methods with computational design and digital fabrication techniques used for architectural applications.