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Matrix Printing Technology in Seasteading

Home Forums Research Engineering Matrix Printing Technology in Seasteading

This topic contains 46 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com ellmer – http://yook3.com 1 year, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 47 total)
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    I think anything you see on the front page of Seasteading.org will never be built, as big, as little, or as real sized. It is just dreaming. If investors have money, they will find what is already working, and do it more. Capitalism is a bit sad that way. Hiring design company to draw systems built on what we know has not worked, is just wasting money. Wasting money is sad too.
    I have been pondering the problem of a platform big enough to make another platform. This gets back to the problem of attaching concrete floaties together. Lets say i have a 20x20ft floating rigid unflexing steel platform that i can pour a single large floaty concrete slab on. I cannot pour a bigger concrete/cement slab than the steel platform. If i tried to, one end of the cement slab will be pushed off the steel platform, before it is set up hard, and the first wave will begin tearing it apart. So lets say i make another steel platform, and attach it to the first steel platform, and now i have twice as much room. The thing is, i cannot get away from the steel platform building, because no matter how many concrete floaties i make, i cannot tie them together to be one rigid floatie. Correct? I keep asking how, but no one tells me how to use cement to attach two cement floaties when each floatie has several tons on it, and are being moved in different directions by the waves.

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    I could imagine a seastead being built on a “foundation” of Salter’s ducks, these devices convert movement caused by waves, into electricity, hundreds or thousands of these ducks would support a stable platform.
    A twin printer could be built on ducks, the lower printer prints ducks and the upper printer prints the concrete seastead on a conveyor belt, when the concrete has set, the conveyor belt moves the platform onto the waiting ducks and the next few feet of platform is extruded directly onto the edge of the preceding extrusion, so you have a continuous platform of any length, the width of the seastead would be limited by the length of the printer.
    Another possibility is an inflateable plastic form, when the form is inflated, pockets in the form are filled with concrete to form the floors and support coloums of the seastead, the outer skin of the form is an air filled pocket or pockets in which air is moved by the energy of the waves to create wind that is used to generate electricity.
    Direct Solar energy would be used for light and water/air heating.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Time will tell,…whatever will be built or not.

    You don’t “attach” permanently,..yet. You just raft up for the time being. Let’s say your first “seasteading module” is 100 tons. A minimum by seasteading standards, population around 50. Modular, highly self sufficient, self propelled. The second one is just the same. Now you raft them up, meaning that they are docked and tied up together. You add a 3rd, 4th, etc. They float together as a “unit”. If bad weather comes by and they start banging into each other, you untie them and they ride the storm on their own. In good weather, you raft up again. You keep on working as a “unit”, make money and build more modules. When you come up with about 800 tons total displacement, you raft up for good, permanently, meaning by mechanical means and cementing all the modules together as a “seasteading unit” now.

    Now, you just keep on building 100 tons modules and raft up permanently to your 800 tons unit around the perimeter. It will be like a growing “organism”, in my sesteading view,…:)

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Or, you can first built that big ass 3d printer that will do the “job” for you. Just in case that science fiction seasteading scenarios are your hobby,…

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    Or, you can first built that big ass 3d printer that will do the “job” for you. Just in case that science fiction seasteading scenarios are your hobby,…

    The “big ass” 3D printer will of course be printed by a much smaller 3D printer.
    Until someone builds a seastead, seasteading is and will remain science fiction.


    land based honeycomb
    We should consider that it is possibly a concept error to imagine building a seastead a “giant industrial construction venture”. Just because the seastead (in the end) is big you still can build it in very small steps so that the construction sites per se do not exceed a few squaremeter each. If you build one squaremeter per day you have 365 squaremeter real estate at the end of the year – the size of the building site (and therefore the matrix printer) is only 1m diameter then. If one squaremeter real estate per day is not fast enough have several dozends of such small scale building sites working on expanding the seastead. The basic nature of such a structure is a honeycomb shell structure. A good printer size would be a size that can build one cell at a time. If we look at land based construction the typical cell size of the “most used honeycomb technology on land” is only 20cm. We should consider building a seastead in a similar way as termites build their cities. One dot of material at a time.

    When we talked about modular some three years ago – we got somehow stuck in the idea that a “module” would be some kind of “floating piece” that would be “connected or rafted up somehow with other pieces” i would reconsider that a “concept and perception error” now too. Because if you think it trough how small “a piece” can be you will find that it can be as small as a “fiber concrete dot” what makes matrix printing the “ultimate modular seastead building sistem”.

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    Ok, Ellmer, show how you would continuously pour, or set blobs, or ribbons, of your favorite cement mix in a situation where the deck is moving up and down, side to side, in the oceanic, not bay waves. When i cast cement or concrete, i keep the forms on it for two (or more) days, and keep moving water off it (even rain or puddles) for three days. I did a small pour 3 days ago, i took the form apart last night because i needed the wood, but i won’t touch the concrete with any load at all for a few more days. I covered it to protect from water coming off the roof. So for 5 days the concrete will not move at all as it sets hard, and i do not know how you will make a cement floatie out at sea which is bigger than the platform you make the pour (or printing) on.
    I understand making small pours in one square meter, i have made 3-bag up to 30-bag pours from one square meter, but they were not moving, and they were connected by rebar to the pour made the week before. You cannot make a concrete/cement pour on the ocean, connecting to last week’s pour with rebar, if last week’s pour is bouncing in the waves. The printing or pour must be stationary as it sets up. I think on a 10×10 platform, the biggest cement you can print/pour is 10×10, on a 20×20 the biggest you can pour/print is 20×20, and on a 16×35 the biggest you can pour/print is 16×35. How can you do bigger?
    I am hoping i can make small pours which i can link together, but for now the only way i can imagine doing that is as “air bubble containers”, putting them under a steel structure. I do not understand yet how you will use concrete or cement to join together 6 concrete platforms 10×10 to make a solid rigid stable 20×30 platform. I think to pour/print cement 30 long, you need a rigid 30 long steel structure first. If i am wrong, please show me how!

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    Some sort of “seasteading like” human endeavor existed for centuries, from the Uros Floating Islands http://www.getintravel.com/travel-to-peru-where-to-go-and-what-to-see/travel-to-peru-uros-floating-islands-lake-titicaca-peru/ to Hong Kong “Floating City” http://7seasvessels.com/?p=36259. So it’s not quite SF :)

    By the way, ssteve, I really like your “Meetup” idea.

    Now, for 3D printing and the rest, what “kind” of “modularity”, size, construction, etc, I think it can be whatever rocks your boat.


    A matrix printer set at the stern of a ramform is just as stationary as the outboard motor set at the stern of your dinghy. The printer moves “with the ramform” not “relative to it” the dots he prints are “glued to the existing hull” so they move with it and not relative to it either. The key is to keep the fresh dot area small enough so it will not start moving while fresh – but that is basic in any matrix printing process – on land as on water. Just keep the work area so small that it moves with the hull instead of “grinding against it”. The smaller and lighter the work area the easier is it to achive this. You need to stop to think in “pouring concrete and connect modules” and replace that thought with “dot printing a new line to a build that consists in tousands of lines aready printed and cured” then all becomes clear.
    I put this picture of the termite tower – they figured it out how to build contiously one dot at a time – millions of years ago…

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    Ellmer, please show me a picture or video of you putting cement into the water as the bottom of a new hull, 5ft/1.5m underwater, that is already in the ocean. I need you to show me you use wet un-hardened, fresh mix cement to make new hull section underwater, attached to a hull already in the ocean, and already bouncing around in waves. And then prove that section is as strong as the original hull, as if it was the original hull.


    Kat, never said you should matrix print underwater – to understand how a part that ends up 70m underwater is built in floating status on the surface, and then sinks deeper as the construction grows, check the building of the Rion-Antirion Bridge Pylons Here: http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t45825534/the-making-of-the-rion-antirion-bridge-pylon-video/
    Also keep in mind that the strength of the build has noting to do with the method you bring the concrete in place.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Soooo, is somebody here saying that it is feasible to 3D print a seastead? Is this the subject here? Seriously?

    We are not gonna pour concrete and let it cure at proper temperature? We are not gonna construct waterproof bulkheads? We are not gonna install engines, motor mounts, transmissions couplings, pipes, wires, portholes, tanks, pumps, generators, circuit breakers, cleats, electronics, cabin furniture, decks, overhead liners, bilge pumps, railings, life lines, anchor windlasses, lights, AC units, heating units, staircases, engine control panels, computerized sensing units, satellite communication dishes, through hulls, prop shafts, props, rudders, rudder shafts, steering mechanisms, autopilots, radars, depth finders, speed logs, GPS units, toilets, water pumps, facets, cabinets, fridges, ovens, smoke detectors, fire suppression systems, water filters, fuel filters, batteries, solar panels, wind generators, life rafts, life vests, abandon ship kits, anchors, chain, rope, fenders,..just to mention a few things here?

    We are not gonna connect “modules”?

    This miraculous 3D “all knowing” printer is gonna do ALL THAT? Really? Than all we need is THAT 3D printer. We should not even need to move aboard that seastead since a “seasteading APP” connected to our Google glasses will give us a virtual reality projection of us being there while we are actually living suspended in a solvent green induced metastatic reality.

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    Oceanopolis, I have no idea what you mean by this “By the way, ssteve, I really like your “Meetup” idea.” perhaps someone else posted that.

    All technologies are derided by luddites at first, there was a time when the idea that men could fly was laughable, in the “grey goo” scenario, nanotechnology could destroy all life on earth so the idea of 3d printers building seasteads is not so far fetched.
    In the future all manufactured items will be printed and they will be designed and/or serviced by intelligent machines, people will be entirely redundant.

    Profile photo of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims

    It was Seratone that posted about starting a Meetup group:


    concrete shells floating . concrete honeycomb shells
    Ocean, “not modular” – on contrary “extremly modular” when you print a dot of coffee spoon size to the stern section of a seastead you have one “module” – the seaststead – and the other “module” the dot of a few grams. You can skip the forming because the dot just sits there and will not flow anywhere. You also will need no complicated solution to avoid grinding between modules because the dot just follows the movement of the seastead the few gram do not exercise any “grinding force against the seastead”, the dot also does not need “srews and connectors to get connected” to the seastead it holds to the seastead like a drop of glue. So you get rid of all the mayor problems of modular building just by making the “added module” extremly small. That is the beauty of printing. You also can go for beautyful and complicated forms. Like concrete honeycomb shells.

    And just to be clear we will not dismiss ANY of the proven processes to get building material in place that are used in land based construction – it is again not a “either or” it is a smart alltogether instead. You still can matrix print the form of a massive keel structure in thin concrete then pour massive amounts of rebar and concrete into that form and let the form in place to satify the code appliance requirements of a structural engineer. Matrix printing does not EXCLUDE anything it just makes a lot of things much easier.

    We are just talking about matrix printing here because it is the matrix printing thread. No doubth that normal concrete engineering still has its place in building a seastead – just like you see in the picture below where a crude square shaped floating container wharf is built in a drydock as a honeycomb in simple concrete casting just like any other concrete construction site – no difference – the monaco breakwater, nkossa, rion-antirion, all use just the normal concrete building processes any concrete contractor can execute. There is no cutting edge technology in that.
    floating container wharf
    If we do not discuss a lot about this it is because there is no need to discuss much about the obvious…
    Part of the whole idea of a “seasteading movement” is that there should be a “novelity component” to it that projects into a bright floating future and attracts investors to the project. So there is not much point in doing just another floating container wharf and “declare it seastead” people with insight will not buy that as “worth investing” the same with “rafting up houseboats” there is no cutting edge component in that. So if we build a seastead let’s at least in part be “somewhat innovative” in the process too…

    See more about oceanic concrete honeycomb shells:
    See more about concrete honeycomb shells in general:
    See more about industrial concrete floating structures:

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