RedWorks Construction Technologies Inc. has signed an MOU with Mars City Design LLC. to collaborate on the creation of future human habitation solutions.
MCD has been working with artists, designers, architects, and engineers to foster the creation of technologies and design solutions to create habitats for long-term human colonization of Mars. MCD offers the network of dedicated design knowledge to create habitat designs that future 3D printers can be used to implement. These designs must conform to the requirements of people living in the most hostile environments imaginable, and are the result of the skill and dedication of a network of architecture and engineering affiliates in pursuit of addressing the practical challenges of building livable habitation on Mars.
RedWorks is focused on creating products to 3D print building materials directly on-site using local sources of dirt, dust, sand, etc. (“regolith”) . Our team originally studied this technology to address long term habitation challenges in the 2015 NASA 3D Printed habitat challenge, and our goal is to bring this technology to market on Earth as a tool for masonry subcontractors and military civil engineers.
By working together, MCD and RedWorks can use our collective expertise and innovations to give people a vision for what human habitation could look like, both on Earth and beyond
RedWorks' First Quarter of 2018 has come to a close, and our company is proud to show you what we've accomplished. Check out the link below for the full newsletter and be sure to subscribe for regular updates.
CEO, Keegan Kirkpatrick spoke at the Space 2.0 panel on Commercializing Lunar and Mars technologies on April 5, and outlined how RedWorks could be seen as a case study on how startups can use space-directed research to develop groundbreaking technologies that can be used here on Earth. More and more companies are beginning to take advantage of Space as a target for innovation that can be used to solve problems on Earth, and we were glad to see Space 2.0's organizers encourage this trend toward Terrestrial First technologies.
Team RedWorks has been busy, moving into new facilities, securing our first customer, and building and testing our Beta Printer for early users, civilian and military. Right now our priority is brining ISAC to market, and to that end we've been carrying out a battery of tests on the Multi-Core Induction Extruder (M-CIE) at the heart of our machine. Part of that process has included testing a wider range of materials as feedstock; our earlier proof of concept tests used ordinary play sand, as its properties were well known and made a good control material. Now we're testing everything we can get our hands on, from pre-sifted fine grain riverbed sand to the dirt pulled out of our own backyards, complete with a healthy mix of sticks and pebbles. Each of the above samples were run under the same conditions, and each test produced samples of stone, regardless of how moist or dry the material may be, in spite of the presence of large chunks of rock and pebbles mixed in, or even if there's a mix of multiple materials. If it's pulled out of the ground, M-CIE can turn it into rock.
What our latest round of tests mean for the future of construction cannot be understated: Instead of shipping concrete or bricks to a site, or building an expensive concrete plant near-site, you can make all the masonry you'd need to build as much material of any design you want completely on-site. The entire process consumes significantly less energy than your average concrete plant of brick kiln, but more important to the contractor, this means material made with ISAC is a lot cheaper than what they can get from a distributor. Your average brick on store shelves today costs about 50 cents, but in California where the average energy cost is 12 cents/kilowatt hour, RedWorks' P-Series printers could make bricks costing as little as 1 cent per unit. 1/50th the cost for traditional masonry materials, and that's just for general purpose bricks. Imagine being able to make cinderblocks, tilt-up walls, even decorative facings all for a tiny fraction of what they cost now, without having to move anything to the site. Moreover, the fact that ISAC doesn’t have to move anything to site to make masonry is a game changer, and solves some key pain points of the construction industry, particularly for working on job sites that are a little out of the way. Developers often have to mix or make concrete on-site with either cement trucks or "portable" concrete plants. Both of these solutions are expensive, loud, and dirty, and not exactly a good way to get the neighbors on a developer’s side. ISAC solves this problem by offering a portable manufacturing system that can be delivered to site on the back of a pickup, while using whatever dirt can be found on site without any major pre-processing on the part of the builder. That's why it's so important that our machine is able to use any material we can find, it frees up builders to take advantage of remote areas rather than be constrained by them, placing fewer issues on neighboring communities and the customer while delivering projects to completion at a lower cost.
ISAC will offer builders the means to make better materials with delays, no waste, and at a cost lower than any comparable form of masonry. This is a material agnostic system. That means you don’t need to do a lot of prep work to make material, just start dumping dirt into the machine and make whatever you need in the field. Our team is still working to bring this technology to market, but the progress we've made thus far shows just how great an impact our technology can have on industry, changing the face of construction one block at a time.
A sample of RedWorksTM stone and the sand it was made from.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lancaster, California — February 19, 2018. A little less than a year ago RedWorks Construction Technologies Inc. began work on our first On-Site Material 3D Printer with a simple goal: make it possible to create whatever materials a builder could need with the dirt beneath their feet. In October of 2017 we proved that was possible with our first prototype extruder, creating granite-like material from ordinary sand. Now we are working to create a machine to change the face of construction.
RedWorksTM In-Situ Additive Construction (ISAC) 3D Printers only require on-site sources of dirt, dust, and sand to create materials that can match the strength of existing masonry. Our technology will let builders make custom, high-end stone building materials faster, cheaper, and with far less waste. Our first commercially available prototype, set to launch later this year, will be introduced for architects, universities, and government researchers looking to experiment with on-site 3D printing. These tabletop, or T-Series, printers will directly precede our larger P-Series ISAC printers which will be small enough to fit in the bed of a pickup truck and will enable commercial builders to create low-cost masonry materials on-site. ISAC will let builders create materials for high-end projects without disrupting local communities and environments with diesel burning cement trucks. Low cost housing hugging a highway can be built with thick walls to reduce noise pollution for residents and neighbors alike, when they’d otherwise be prohibitively expensive. And communities impacted by drought could create apartments and homes from blocks designed to collect rainwater and distribute it to planters that that reduce air pollution and retain water. These are just a few of the opportunities that ISAC will make possible, and fundamentally change the way we approach construction.
At the heart of the ISAC printers is RedWorksTM patent pending Multi-Core Induction Extruder (M-CIE). M-CIE is a new kind of 3D printer extrusion technology that sinters dirt and sand to a malleable state, with no water or binders, using induction heating. Put simply, induction uses a magnetic field to force the molecules in a conductive material to vibrate, generating friction and therefore heat. However, unlike past induction systems that can only use conductive metals and certain ceramics, M-CIE’s unique design uses inducting heating indirectly. Heating conductive cores within the print-head to many hundreds of degrees, dirt and sand feedstocks are continuously fed through and heated to become semi-molten and malleable. The material is then laid down like any plastic 3D printer to make whatever objects the user desires, before cooling to become rock. This is actually a fairly energy efficient process compared to current masonry production technology, requiring as little as 10 kilowatts to work. In California, energy costs are so low that a standard working brick printed using a P-Series ISAC printer would cost as little as 1/50th that of commercially available materials. Moreover, by shrinking the supply chain to the builder, ISAC will significantly reduce material shipping costs, and more importantly eliminate shipping delays for masonry.
In an industry ripe for technology that will disrupt costs and support greater flexibility, ISAC is a game changer. We hope to make ISAC the machine that empowers builders and contractors to meet the demands of an ever evolving market. From high-end projects that complement their environment, to affordable housing that raises the value of neighborhoods, ISAC will reduce building materials and costs to the dirt beneath your feet.
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RedWorks CEO, Keegan Kirkpatrick, will be speaking at Pioneers of Tomorrow: Exponential Technologies & Space for the 2018 Space Tech Summit in San Mateo California on January 24 from 3:45 - 4:15. Come see Keegan speak about how space directed research drives the creation of technologies that can improve life on Earth.
"The Space Tech Summit is a multi year initiative of Draper University, Global Startup Ecosystem and LightSpeed Innovations that brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, and creatives under one roof to address humanity’s grandest challenges via space technology. The summit also serves to bring key stakeholders that will accelerate both the exploration and commercialization of the Space ecosystem."
RedWorks Quarterly Newsletter is out covering all the progress we've made in 2017. We can't wait to show you all the exciting things we have in store for 2018.
With Thanksgiving upon us team RedWorks would like to take a few moments to give thanks to those who've helped and guided us this past year from our mentors at LightSpeed Innovations, to our Advisors, and of course to our friends and family who've been an ever present source of encouragement and support during this journey.
We'd like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.
This summer has seen the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean devastated by one of the worst hurricane season in living memory, leaving countless homeless and without access to basic services. Meanwhile Syrian cities have been left in ruins from years of civil war that has displaced millions. One of the greatest obstacles facing relief workers is the loss of infrastructure, limiting the ability to move equipment and resources to where they’re needed most. What if instead, relief workers could rebuild without having to move one bag of concrete or gallon of water?
In our effort to better understand the problem of building in resource scarce environments, we’ve reached out disaster relief and construction units within the armed services. They have shown us just how depressingly similar the problem is, whether it be in a bombed out city on the other side of the world, or a community devastated by a hurricane in America’s own backyard. Water becomes a precious resource, transportation becomes impossible, and temporary refugee camps become permanent features for decades to come. These conditions breed instability, which is why the US military has committed itself to finding solutions that makes rebuilding faster and less costly. To this end RedWorks has begun to explore how our technology could help relief workers rebuild faster and get communities up and running during recovery. With our indigenous material 3D printers, relief workers could repair roads, housing, and hospitals all with the dirt beneath their feet, returning essential services to areas devastated by natural and human catastrophe. Our printers would shrink the tools to rebuild to a package small enough to be moved by one truck, and be powered in the field. Moreover our process would radically cut the consumption of clean water for construction, saving it for those who need it most.
Historically, when disasters strike, be they natural or man-made, it can take years if not decades for the affected areas to recover. With on-site construction 3D Printing, tent cities and refugee camps would be replaced by rapidly deployable permanent housing, with roads reopened in a matter of days, not months. This would accelerate the delivery of food, water, and power to the victims of disasters, be they natural or man-made. We are far from the only ones looking to address this problem, and if we commit ourselves to address this problem, some day areas impacted by catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and war will be able to rise from the ashes and give impacted communities a chance to return to some form of normalcy.
Come see RedWorks CEO Keegan Kirkpatrick on the panel Additive Manufacturing for Space and in Space: Challenges and Opportunities at the Additive Aerospace conference in downtown Los Angeles on October 20th at 11am.
The panel will be moderated by Ioana Cozmuta, Ph.D., Industry Innovation and Microgravity Lead, Space Portal, NASA Ames Research Center, and will include the following panelists.