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New Autodesk System Streamlines 3D Printing of Large, Complex Objects

08:00 - 20 June, 2016

A team of engineers at Autodesk have been pushing the limitations of conventional 3D printing -- not by redesigning the machines themselves, but by creating a network to harness their collective power. Autodesk's "Project Escher" is a new printing system that utilizes the power of several 3D printers at once to fabricate complex parts in unison, reports FastCoDesign. The new system can increase production speed by up to 90%. 

These Unique, Beautiful Sundials Are Designed Using Location-Specific Solar Data

09:30 - 23 April, 2016
These Unique, Beautiful Sundials Are Designed Using Location-Specific Solar Data, Courtesy of Prescription
Courtesy of Prescription

Design group prescription., in conjunction with Arup, have developed a sophisticated sundial based off of solar path data that takes the form of a flowering fan. The geometry is optimized using the specific solar data from any world location, giving the sundial a completely unique form based on where it is constructed, and is materialized in a strong, flexible plastic through a 3D printing process.

7 Futuristic Fabrications Leading Us Towards a Newer Architecture

12:00 - 26 March, 2016
7 Futuristic Fabrications Leading Us Towards a Newer Architecture

Swept up in an age of digitization and computing, architecture has been deeply affected in the past decade by what some critics are calling “The Third Industrial Revolution.” With questions of craft and ethics being heavily present in the current architectural discourse, projects taking advantage of these new technologies are often criticized for their frivolous or indulgent nature. On the other hand, there has been an emergence of work that exemplifies the most optimistic of this “Third Industrial Revolution” – an architecture that appropriates new technology and computation for the collective good of our cities and people.

We’ve collected 7 of these projects, ranging from exemplars of engineering to craft and artistry; projects that 80 years after Le Corbusier’s modernist handbook hint at a further horizon – towards a newer architecture.

This Mars Colonization Proposal Would 3D Print Biodegradable Fungus Towers that Leave No Trace

09:30 - 14 February, 2016
This Mars Colonization Proposal Would 3D Print Biodegradable Fungus Towers that Leave No Trace, Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva
Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva

After NASA’s discovery of water beneath the surface of Mars earlier this year, and the subsequent critical and popular success of the movie The Martian, it's safe to say that the planet named after the God of War is all the rage. Those revelations have led to speculative looks at how our neighboring planet could be colonized from numerous designers, such as Norman Foster.

Many of those plans, including those of SpaceX founder Elon Musk, involve dumping Earthen construction materials onto the alien surface, potentially starting an inclination for pollution of our new world before it is even occupied. Spanish architect Alberto Villanueva of IDEA Architecture Office saw this as an opportunity for design to intervene. Using Martian soil and the fungus mycelium, Villanueva proposes a strategy utilizing 3D printing and bioluminescence that has gained the attention of both NASA and the European Space Agency.

Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva Towers lit with bioluminescence. Image Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva Courtesy of Alberto Villanueva +11

4 Architecturally Inspired Jewelry Lines

12:00 - 13 February, 2016
4 Architecturally Inspired Jewelry Lines

Fashion and architecture often intersect, with OMA/AMO designing runways for Prada, and architects, such as Zaha Hadid, designing swimwear and shoes. This time, we’ve rounded up four designers who have created jewelry lines inspired by the built world around them. From cityscape and protractor rings to wearable sculptures, check out the collections after the break. 

Harvard Researchers Develop 4D-Printed Structures that React to Water

19:00 - 3 February, 2016

In 2013, Skylar Tibbits of the MIT Self-Assembly Lab introduced a new phrase to the architectural lexicon: 4D Printing. The concept, which built on the hype surrounding 3D printing and added the dimension of time, describes materials that can be constructed through 3D printing in such a way that they later react and change shape in response to an external stimulus such as heat or moisture.

Tibbits demonstrated his idea with a composite of two materials, but now researchers led by materials scientist Jennifer Lewis at Harvard have gone one better, creating a method that produces the same effects with just one material.

Bartlett Students Develop New Method for 3D Printing Concrete

12:00 - 21 January, 2016
Bartlett Students Develop New Method for 3D Printing Concrete, 3D printed concrete table. Image © Amalgamma
3D printed concrete table. Image © Amalgamma

Four Masters students from Bartlett School of Architecture - Francesca Camilleri, Nadia Doukhi, Alvaro Lopez Rodriguez and Roman Strukov - have developed a new method for 3D printing large-scale, self-supporting concrete structures. With their project Fossilised, the team, known as Amalgamma, combined two existing concrete 3D printing methods - the extrusion printing method and the powder printing method - to create a form of supported extrusion that allows for "more volumetric" concrete structures. 

"The supported extrusion method has therefore presented the opportunity to design forms that are more varied and more volumetric, as opposed to the very straight vertical forms so far achieved in 3D concrete practice," says Amalgamma. 

The Living's 3D Printed Airplane Partition is Designed to Mimic Bone Structure

13:00 - 20 January, 2016
The Living's 3D Printed Airplane Partition is Designed to Mimic Bone Structure, © The Living
© The Living

You’ve probably never given much thought to the seemingly basic interior partitions of an airplane, but building codes are a walk in the park compared to the exacting standards of aviation design. Those thin panels that separate the seats from the plane's galley must also be capable of supporting the weight of flight attendant jumpseats and providing a removable section to accommodate emergency stretchers - not to mention the rigorous safety standards and crash testing that aviation components must satisfy. With all of these challenges in mind, The Living, an Autodesk Studio, in collaboration with Airbus and APWorks, have developed the Bionic Partition Project, which harnesses generative design and 3D printing to maximize the structural efficiency of the panel, reducing the weight of an aircraft, and saving fuel. And while this particular application is specific to a single aircraft type, the technological advances could have far-reaching implications.

© The Living © The Living © The Living © The Living +11

Ittyblox Unveils Collection of Miniature 3D-Printed Parisian Buildings

06:00 - 6 January, 2016

Netherlands-based Ittyblox has created yet another series of miniature 3D-printed buildings, this time featuring typical and iconic buildings and sites in Paris. Adding to their series of New York, London, and Chicago, among others, the new Parisian series follows suit as a 1:1000 scale model of customizable city blocks.

Courtesy of Ittyblox Courtesy of Ittyblox Courtesy of Ittyblox Courtesy of Ittyblox +14

Vincent Callebaut Imagines "Oceanscrapers" 3D Printed from Recycled Trash

12:00 - 25 December, 2015
Vincent Callebaut Imagines "Oceanscrapers" 3D Printed from Recycled Trash, © Vincent Callebaut
© Vincent Callebaut

Vincent Callebaut Architectures has envisioned a radical underwater colony for "climate change refugees" 3D printed from recycled materials taken from the ocean's floating garbage patches. This particular proposal of "oceanscrapers" is sited off the shore of Rio de Janeiro. It's aim is to provide a sustainable habitat with 10,000 housing units, office and work space, sea farms, gardens, community orchards and much more, while fostering marine life. 

© Vincent Callebaut © Vincent Callebaut © Vincent Callebaut © Vincent Callebaut +30

Digital Craft: 3D Printing for Architectural Design

06:30 - 7 December, 2015
Digital Craft: 3D Printing for Architectural Design, University College London Hospitals, Phase 5 interior model, London (UK). Image © Steffian Bradley Architects
University College London Hospitals, Phase 5 interior model, London (UK). Image © Steffian Bradley Architects

3D printing has been used in architectural practice since the 1990s, and while its use for producing design models continues to be adopted, the aesthetics and stylistic potential of its output remain unexplored by many architects. In his book “Digital Craft: 3D Printing for Architectural Design,” Bryan Ratzlaff examines the relationship between the architect, the model and the 3D printer, creating a better understanding of how when integrated, these entities can lead to a refinement in the communication of architectural design with 3D printing.

Help Voodoo Manufacturing Build a Massive 3D Printed City

03:37 - 7 December, 2015
Help Voodoo Manufacturing Build a Massive 3D Printed City

W​ide Open Arts is hosting their annual curated exhibit from January 21-­24, 2016. This year the art fair will feature a massive 3D printed city of towers designed by hundreds of individuals from across the world. They are looking for artists, architects and designers to submit 3D designs of contemporary, modern and ancient towers.

See the Winners of the 2015 KRob Architectural Drawing Competition

08:00 - 3 December, 2015
See the Winners of the 2015 KRob Architectural Drawing Competition, Professional Hand, Moh'd Bilbeisi. Image via Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition
Professional Hand, Moh'd Bilbeisi. Image via Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition

Established in 1974 by the AIA Dallas Chapter, the Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition (KRob) is “the world’s longest running architectural drawing competition of its kind”. Named after architect Ken Roberts, famous for his ink perspective drawings, the competition recognizes innovations in both hand-drawn and digital architectural drawing. The winners and shortlist each year serve as an inspiring reference for architects, and showcase the intersection between technology, design and culture.

In 2015, the new award for “Excellence in Architectural 3D Printing” was added, and with a total of 424 entries from 28 countries, this year’s competition was the largest to date. The 2015 jury consisted of Michel Rojkind, Paul Stevenson Oles and John P. Maruszcak. The competition culminated in an awards ceremony and panel discussion at Alto 211 in Dallas. See the winners after the break.

IaaC Student Develops 3D Printed "Living Screen" From Algae

14:30 - 4 November, 2015

"The debate linked to a more responsive architecture, connected to nature, has been growing since the 1960s," explains Irina Shaklova in her description of her IaaC research project Living Screen. "Notwithstanding this fact, to this day, architecture is somewhat conservative: following the same principles with the belief in rigidity, solidity, and longevity."

While Shaklova's argument does generally ring true, that's not to say that there haven't been important developments at the cutting edge of architecture that integrate building technologies and living systems, including The Living's mycelium-based installation for the 2014 MoMA Young Architect's Program and self-healing concrete made using bacteria. But while both of these remain at the level of research and small-scale experimentation, one of the most impressive exercises in living architecture recently was made with algae - specifically, the Solarleaf facade developed by Arup, Strategic Science Consult of Germany (SSC), and Colt International, which filters Carbon Dioxide from the air to grow algae which is later used as fuel in bioreactors.

With Living Screen, Shaklova presents a variation on this idea that is perhaps less intensively engineered than Solarleaf, offering an algae structure more in tune with her vision against that rigidity, solidity, and longevity.

IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

06:00 - 30 October, 2015

Sofoklis Giannakopoulos, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), has designed Pylos, a 3D printer that utilizes a natural, biodegradable, cheap, recyclable and local material that everyone is familiar with: the earth.  

In an effort to make 3D printing a “large scale construction approach” even in years of economic and environmental turmoil, Pylos explores the structural potential of soil, a material that has been widely used in vernacular architecture around the world, and particularly in the Global South. 

Learn more about the printer after the break.

LCD's VULCAN Awarded Guinness World Record for Largest 3D Printed Structure

11:30 - 28 October, 2015
LCD's VULCAN Awarded Guinness World Record for Largest 3D Printed Structure, Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week
Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week

Guinness World Records has awarded the title of "largest 3D printed structure" to VULCAN, a temporary pavilion designed by the Beijing-based Laboratory for Creative Design (LCD). Made up of 1023 individually printed segments, the structure was 9.08 meters long and 2.88 meters tall, and took 30 days to print and a further 12 days to assemble. The pavilion was on display earlier this month at Beijing Design Week, located in Beijing's Parkview Green retail center.

Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week Courtesy of Laboratory for Creative Design and Beijing Design Week +19

Clouds AO and SEArch Win NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with 3D-Printed Ice House

14:10 - 2 October, 2015
Clouds AO and SEArch Win NASA's Mars Habitat Competition with 3D-Printed Ice House, ICE HOUSE. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch
ICE HOUSE. Image © Clouds AO and SEArch

NASA, who recently confirmed evidence of flowing water on Mars, has deemed SEArch (Space Exploration Architecture) and Clouds AO (Clouds Architecture Office) winners of the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. Sponsored by NASA and America Makes, the teams were asked to use indigenous materials and 3D printing techniques to build a habitat for four astronauts on Mars. SEArch and Clouds AO's first prize proposal, ICE HOUSE was awarded $25,000, ahead of 30 other shortlisted practices

"Recognizing that water is the building block to life, the team used a ‘follow the water’ approach to conceptualize, site and construct their design," said SEArch and Clouds AO. "[Our] proposal stood out as one of the few entries not to bury the habitat beneath regolith, instead mining the anticipated abundance of subsurface ice in the northern regions to create a thin vertical ice shell capable of protecting the interior habitat from radiation while celebrating life above ground."

4 Experiments in Robot and Drone 3D Printing that Could Shape Architecture's Future

09:30 - 30 September, 2015
4 Experiments in Robot and Drone 3D Printing that Could Shape Architecture's Future, MUPPette. Image Courtesy of Gensler
MUPPette. Image Courtesy of Gensler

In manufacturing, the dramatic recent expansion in the capabilities of 3D printing has threatened to revolutionize the way that things are made. In architecture though, while 3D printing has been received with enthusiasm its translation to the increased scale of buildings has been challenging. Most solutions to this problem have focused on increasingly large printers and the incorporation of existing principles of prefabrication - however there is another way. In this article, originally published on Autodesk’s Line//Shape//Space publication as "4 Ways a Robot or Drone 3D Printer Will Change Architecture and Construction," Zach Mortice looks at four examples of cutting-edge research into 3D printing that utilize robots or drones to navigate architecture's challenging scale.

Buildings simply aren’t made like anything else—that goes for sunglasses, furniture, appliances, and fighter jets. No other production process brings massive amounts of material to one place, constructs one item, and then hauls away the garbage. The inefficiencies are monumental.

Modular construction has promised a great deal of potential to reduce waste. But what if one answer is to do more intricate construction on-site, not less? 3D printers attached to robots and drones are demonstrating that they might have the versatility to finally bring the unruly building process to heel.