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These 25-ton stones can be moved by hand thanks to science

By Shawn Knight · 24 replies
Apr 17, 2019
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  1. Researchers from design lab Matter Design in collaboration with construction specialist CEMEX have developed giant concrete structures that can be maneuvered by hand. Their work, inspired by megalithic structures like Stonehenge and the Moai statues on Easter Island, demonstrates how science can effectively be leveraged to pull off a feat that would otherwise seem impossible.

    In 2014, the researchers started studying how ancient civilizations built giant structures without the aid of modern equipment like cranes and other heavy machinery. Putting their knowledge to the test, they created huge structures using variable density concrete with rounded edges and handle points to help move them.

    Key to their mobility is precisely calibrated centers of mass that ensure stability on the go.

    In the end, the design lab was able to successfully craft multi-level platforms, walls and even staircases using the individual components – all assembled by hand. Some of the concrete pieces weighed as much as 25 tons.

    As impressive as it sounds on paper, it’s even more compelling to watch people move the massive blocks with ease.

    Sure, it takes some time and patience to “walk” everything into place, but it certainly beats having to drag heavy stones using sheer strength alone.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,367   +2,888

    If one of them falls flat, then you are finished! Rebel forces win!

    That ain't gonna happen. When something is imminent, how are you gonna come up with a large set of 25-ton stones in the right place? Imminently?
     
    EClyde and Raytrace3D like this.
  3. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 778   +309

    Eh.. they are not moving them at all they are just rotating on one spot. They are still using a forklift between those jumpcuts?!

    How is this even amazing at all. *confused*
     
    psycros and TheBigT42 like this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,138   +1,556

    Yea, all I saw was a bunch of pivoting and swiveling. No real walking it.
    I did find it fascinating still, since this allows greater precision when assembling.
    One last note, I didn't care for the music ;P
     
  5. kombu

    kombu TS Addict Posts: 78   +153

    I just hope they're not building a wall with those, cause I hear those are racist.
     
    psycros and ShagnWagn like this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,721   +2,080

    If there was variable-density concrete in the days of the ancients, I am sure they would have used it; however, experts have been studying ancient megalithic structures for years and there is no evidence that something like that was used.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    psycros and Misagt like this.
  7. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,147   +1,315

    The Pyramids were made of blocks that were cut with laser precision. Who knows what tech/methods they used to make those things but we haven't figured it out yet.
     
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,153   +3,575

    Yeah, it's interesting but not very practical and certainly not the first time it's been done. Just try this with a few Pyramid stones and see what happens .... you also won't get the snappy music either .......
     
  9. zavrix

    zavrix TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +17

    Lol what a load of bull, you're not going to build anything like whats been done in the past with that lot.
     
  10. Tawhid

    Tawhid TS Rookie

    Most useless news in years.

    1. they cant move it, they simply can rotate it on a hard flat surface which can withstand 25ton of load what happens when its in grass, or road which gets damped.

    2. if you cant carry these by road how will you build a structure with these things which you cant move.

    3. joints in this product is very specific in nature not universal, in a condition where you dont know site location and condition ie. undulation and etc parameters to put these exactly as it is is next to impossible.

    these are only good to build pyramid to show off your power, hardly any real use for people.

    what a waste of time and money.
     
    Misagt likes this.
  11. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,450   +1,448

    Wow, lots of negativity for something that's so cool :)

    No, it probably doesn't answer how the pyramids were created... no, it probably won't be used by soldiers to build barricades or fortifications...

    But I'm sure there WILL be some useful purposes for this - they can still be transported easily. Remember we actually DO have some pretty good tech for hauling heavy stuff - we call them trucks :)
     
    Kibaruk likes this.
  12. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,003   +732

    Ancient Civilizations in Africa, South America and Native Americans had this stuff figured out.
     
  13. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,758   +1,149

    I know right? Definitely won't help in a snap but people will definitely find a use for it, all the free negativity, it barely feels like a tech forum.

    Let's find all the reasons why something won't work, while they are actually finding the one way to make it all work, yet...
     
    Squid Surprise likes this.
  14. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,161   +628

    This isn't "variable density" anything. Its all uniform density, but with a well-balanced center of mass and center of gravity. Put both of those centers in the same place, and it becomes relatively easy to move around those centers. Now, saw you put a weird circumference around those centers, and now you can move this heavy object around by rocking it back and forth, to take advantage of the different linear lengths created by the different circumferences.
     
  15. netman

    netman TS Addict Posts: 251   +73

    This does not proof jack shet! The majority of Egyptian pyramid stones are cubical shape with uniform densities!
     
  16. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 273   +190

    As a tradesman I totally agree with the comments here. This is only impressive if you don't understand that building conditions will never match this. I'd like to see this used on a slope. What if it falls on it's side? Sure it's fine on a perfectly flat hard surface but a slight angle or bump could knock it over and kill someone. I personally wouldn't be messing around with that.
     
  17. Kashim

    Kashim TS Booster Posts: 82   +67

    Only if the wall is orange.
     
    psycros likes this.
  18. kombu

    kombu TS Addict Posts: 78   +153

    I'll take orange over brown any day, Kashim.
     
  19. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Addict Posts: 154   +99

    What I wouldn't give to back in time to ancient Egypt just for a day or two.......
     
  20. ferrellsl

    ferrellsl TS Member Posts: 23   +23

    Since when did ancient man have access to variable density concrete? The premise that these modern day day "fake" stones are an analog to the real, carved stones used by ancient builders is ludicrous.
     
  21. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,624   +2,363

    Sorry, the leaderboard still puts the aliens out in front.
     
  22. quadibloc

    quadibloc TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +22

    I'll have to admit that I doubt the ancient makers of the Pyramids molded the blocks out of some type of cement with a density distribution that let them pivot the blocks into place. I'm pretty sure they and others just quarried the blocks out of rock (well, with maybe one suspicious exception in South America). This is not much of an improvement over ancient astronauts.
     
  23. Khanonate

    Khanonate TS Booster Posts: 144   +26

    The Ancients win again!
     
  24. Kraemepoo

    Kraemepoo TS Enthusiast Posts: 47   +23

    None of those pieces are 25 tons, the entire structure is not 25 tons.
    Concrete weighs approximately 2 tons per cubic yard. The largest piece should be approximately 3 tons assuming solid molds.
     
  25. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,758   +1,149

    Yeah cause moving less tons of rock by hand makes it less impressive.
     

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