News Detail

NIST Establishes Additive Construction by Extrusion (ACE) Consortium to Evaluate Standards for ACE Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the establishment of the Additive Construction by Extrusion (ACE) Consortium to support research by bringing together stakeholders to identify and address gaps in current standards related to materials, methods, structural performance, and engineering design. ACE uses 3D technology to print and build structures through robotic arms, which NIST notes could revolutionize the construction industry by eliminating the need for formwork and enable architectural and structural designs that cannot be achieved through current standard practices. ACE technology could be used to, among other things, increase worker safety and increase work efficiency and effectiveness. A study from Harvard University on ACE technology notes that it is capable of building homes in just three days through the arm of a robot. Specifically, ACE Consortium efforts will be focused on studying the measurement science needs for the successful adoption of ACE by the construction industry, and identifying and proposing new standards to address industry needs not met by existing standards.

NIST notes that the ACE Consortium will work to achieve the following goals: (1) “Correlating Off-line Measurements to Print Quality,” which will focus on correlating off-line measurements of fresh and hardening ink to a measure of print quality; (2) “In-situ and In-process Measurements,” which will focus on developing in-situ (pre-construction in concrete slab or other form) and in-process measurements (during assembly in construction) that may be used to provide feedback on the control of the ACE process; and (3) “Hardened Properties and Scaling up from Paste to Concrete,” which will focus on measurements at the structural scale including hardened property measurements, studies on curing practices and finishing procedures, and the development of numerical simulations of material deposition.

Per this notice, NIST is seeking participants for the ACE Consortium from the following groups: (1) industrial organizations (including corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, and industrial development organizations); (2) public and private foundations; (3) nonprofit organizations (including universities); (4) federal government agencies; (5) state or local governments; and (6) foreign government agencies. NIST notes that ACE Consortium activities will begin on October 15, 2023. Additionally, selected ACE Consortium participants will be required to contribute a $10,000 participation fee.

NIST will accept letters of interest for the ACE Consortium on an ongoing basis through email to Dr. Shawn Platt at Letters of interest must include: (1) a narrative of interest in ACE and description of related experience and expertise to contribute to the ACE Consortium; (2) a list of anticipated participating individuals; and (3) if the participant is proposing in-kind participation instead of a fee contribution, a description of anticipated in-kind donation and its equivalent value.

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