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3d Printing

Foster + Partners and Branch Technology Win Phase 2 of NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge

12:00 - 4 September, 2017
Courtesy of NASA HQ PHOTO
Courtesy of NASA HQ PHOTO

The team of Foster + Partners and Branch Technology have been awarded first prize in the latest stage of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, a $2.5 million multi-phase competition designed to generate ideas and advance technology for the construction of sustainable housing solutions “for Earth and beyond.”

After printing three cylinder and three beams the first two levels of Phase 2, Stage 3 asked teams to design and print a 1.5-meter dome using indigenous Martian soil and recyclable materials, envisioning how future habitats could be constructed on the Red Planet. Teams were required to develop the 3-D printing technology itself as well as the structural design for each dome. The competition also dictated each structure be built within a 22-hour time frame, using the specific materials, geometric tolerances and autonomous performance that would be demanded by the Martian landscape.

This Stone Vault Prototype Creates Almost No Material Waste

09:30 - 26 August, 2017
This Stone Vault Prototype Creates Almost No Material Waste, © Maurizio Barberio
© Maurizio Barberio

Italy-based New Fundamentals Research Group recently designed and built a full-scale prototype of an experimental barrel-vaulted stone structure for SNBR, a French company that specializes in cutting-edge stone construction. The structure is named Hypar Vault in a reference to the geometry of its constituent blocks; it uses two types of prefabricated stone modules—one type is the mirror image of the other—whose designs are based on the hypar (hyperbolic paraboloid), one of the only "doubly-ruled" surfaces in geometry. The use of these configurations allowed the vault to be constructed with almost zero wasted stone.

© Maurizio Barberio © Giuseppe Scaltrito © Maurizio Barberio © Maurizio Barberio + 29

This Sketchup Plugin Designs Structures Made From Plastic Bottles and 3D-Printed Joints

09:30 - 24 June, 2017
This Sketchup Plugin Designs Structures Made From Plastic Bottles and 3D-Printed Joints, The CHI'17 Pavilion. Image © Ludwig Wilhem Wall
The CHI'17 Pavilion. Image © Ludwig Wilhem Wall

The capabilities of personal 3D printing and fabrication are only beginning to be tested, but a new system is pushing the boundaries for feasible, structurally-sound large scale structures. Unlike other structures created by 3D printing systems, Trussfab doesn’t require access to specialized equipment, nor specific engineering knowledge, to print and build large-scale structures capable of supporting human weight. Phd researcher Robert Kovacs with his team from the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany created Trussfab as an end-to-end system allowing users to fabricate sturdy, large-scale structures using plastic bottles and 3D-printed connections, making them easy and relatively quick to construct.

A detailed view of the CHI'17 Pavilion construction. Image © Stephanie Neubert The CHI'17 Pavilion. Image © Ludwig Wilhem Wall A 3D printed hub with embossed ID numbers. Image © Hasso Plattner Institute Digital model of the CHI'17 Pavilion in the Trussfab editor in Sketchup. Image © Robert Kovacs and Oanh Lisa Nyugen Xuan + 13

3D Copypod / People's Architecture Office

19:00 - 8 June, 2017
3D Copypod / People's Architecture Office, © People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO)
© People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO)

Made With Love, Literally: 3D Printing Your Emotions Into Gold

14:00 - 4 June, 2017

Brazil-based architects Estudio Guto Requena, working with digital product studio D3, has launched an app that collects emotions to create a unique piece of jewelry. That, and some 3D-printed craftsmanship direct from the design you generate via their new app. Coined the Aura Pendant, the final product is an intricately woven golden pendant that can be gifted to yourself or a loved one.

Courtesy of © 2016 Estudio Guto Requena Courtesy of © 2016 Estudio Guto Requena Courtesy of © 2016 Estudio Guto Requena Courtesy of © 2016 Estudio Guto Requena + 9

Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils New Experimental Structure Using 3D-Printing Technology

08:00 - 21 May, 2017
© Luke Hayes
© Luke Hayes

Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled a new experimental structure as part of Milan’s White In The City Exhibition during the city’s annual Salone del Mobile. Held at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in the heart of Milan’s design district, the exhibition explored the contemporary use of white color in design and architecture across various locations in the city. Named the Thallus – after the Greek word for flora that is not differentiated into stem and leaves, the sculpture is the latest in ZHA’s investigations using 3D printing technology. Thallus continues Zaha Hadid Architects’ Computational Design (ZHA CoDe) group’s research into generating geometries through robotic-assisted design.

© Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes + 17

3D Hubs Architecture Student Grant

13:00 - 15 May, 2017
3D Hubs Architecture Student Grant

The brief is simple: show us your use of 3D printing in your architecture project. Whether it's a wild mockup of a future tech hub made of plastic or a treehouse prototyped in metal, we want to see how you're using 3D printing to help communicate your ideas. 

Foster + Partners Awarded Top Prize in NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge

14:10 - 5 May, 2017
Foster + Partners Awarded Top Prize in NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge

NASA has announced the completion of the initial printing stage of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, awarding Foster + Partners | Branch Technology and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks as the two top-scoring teams from this round.

After Phase 1 of the competition (won by Clouds AO and SEArch) tasked architects and engineers from around the globe to imagine hypothetical concepts for the habitation of Mars, Phase 2 is challenging designers to manufacture actual, 3D-printed objects using techniques that could be employed to create shelters on a future mission to the red planet or beyond.

Gothic Construction Techniques Inspire ETH Zurich's Lightweight Concrete Floor Slabs

08:00 - 19 April, 2017
Gothic Construction Techniques Inspire ETH Zurich's Lightweight Concrete Floor Slabs , © ETH Zurich / Peter Rüegg.
© ETH Zurich / Peter Rüegg.

With the intention of maximizing available space and avoiding steep construction costs, researchers from ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture have devised a concrete floor slab that with a thickness of a mere 2cm, remains load bearing and simultaneously sustainable. Inspired by the construction of Catalan vaults, this new floor system swaps reinforced steel bars for narrow vertical ribs, thus significantly reducing the weight of construction and ensuring stability to counter uneven distributions on its surface. 

As opposed to traditional concrete floors that are evidently flat, these slabs are designed to arch to support major loads, reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings found in Gothic cathedrals. Without the need for steel reinforcing and with less concrete, the production of CO2 is minimized and the resulting 2cm floors are 70% lighter than their typical concrete counterparts.

via Block Research Group via Block Research Group via Block Research Group via Block Research Group + 5

SUTD Professors Bring Parametric Design To Light in Illuminated 3D Printed Installation

16:00 - 15 April, 2017
SUTD Professors Bring Parametric Design To Light in Illuminated 3D Printed Installation, © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon
© SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon

A luminous tetrahedral mesh spanning 10 meters, (Ultra) Light Network is the latest 3D printed innovation achieved by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Professors Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon, who were also behind this mesh pavilion last year. Displayed at this year’s iLight Marina Bay in Singapore, the interactive light sculpture is an exploration of how full-scale 3D printed components can create a system to “address not only structural requirements but also power transmission, and information communication within a seamless and continuous aesthetic.” 

Suspended over its visitors, the display engages the public through responses to their movements below, controlled by over 50,000 distinct LED pixels and their parent algorithm. This is made possible through five Teensy microcontrollers, working in conjunction with three ultrasonic sensors at the base of the structure, resulting in a lively and illuminating experience. 

© SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon © SUTD: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon + 18

This Mysterious 3D Printed Grotto Challenges Boundaries of Computational Geometry and Human Perception

12:00 - 9 April, 2017
© Fabrice Dall’Anese
© Fabrice Dall’Anese

Following the success of their highly intricate Arabesque Wall, Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer have once again achieved new levels of ornamental eye candy – this time, with a full-scale 3D printed grotto created from seven tons of sandstone. Commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the grotto is an example of how the spatial expression of computational technologies can make for remarkable architectural experiences.

“Digital Grotesque II is a testament to and celebration of a new kind of architecture that leaves behind traditional paradigms of rationalization and standardization and instead emphasizes the viewer’s perception, evoking marvel, curiosity and bewilderment,” state Dillenburger and Hansmeyer.

© Michael Lyrenmann © Michael Hansmeyer © Michael Hansmeyer © Michael Hansmeyer + 22

This 6-Axis Robot Arm Can 3D Print Fiberglass Composites

08:00 - 26 March, 2017
This 6-Axis Robot Arm Can 3D Print Fiberglass Composites, Atropos was developed by architects and engineers at the Politecnico di Milano's +Lab. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano
Atropos was developed by architects and engineers at the Politecnico di Milano's +Lab. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano

A team of architects and engineers at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy have unveiled Atropos, a six-axis robotic arm capable of printing continuous fiber composites. The one of a kind robot was developed by +Lab, the 3D printing laboratory at the Politecnico, who have taken inspiration from fibres found in the natural world. Through a technology known as Continuous Fiber Composites Smart Manufacturing, Atropos has the potential to create large, complex structures to aid the design and construction process.

The design team studied the behaviour of silkworms and spiders when developing the fiber-printing robot. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano Quick-setting fiber resin negates the need for additional supports. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano The six-axis robotic arm uses technology known as Continuous Fiber Composites Smart Manufacturing. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano The process can produce elements ranging from centimeters to meters. Image Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano + 16

How a 3D Printer Changed My Life

08:00 - 20 March, 2017
How a 3D Printer Changed My Life, Cortesía de Héctor Llano | Teamstudio
Cortesía de Héctor Llano | Teamstudio

3D printing is here to stay. Every day we see articles that show us the latest accomplishment using 3D printers. From bridges printed entirely in 3D to 3D replicas of lost architecture or for something silly machines that print pizzas. We are fascinated and impressed by everything they can do, but still, regard them as something without real life application. In the field of architecture we see it as the next revolution that will save us the time spent on making models, but ... why limit it to only that?

Umea University Develops Low-Cost, Flexible 3D Printer

08:00 - 17 March, 2017
Umea University Develops Low-Cost, Flexible 3D Printer, © Linnéa Therese Dimitriou
© Linnéa Therese Dimitriou

Sliperiet, Umeå Arts Campus has developed a new type of 3D printer that features increased printing flexibility at a lower cost. Called Hangprinter. The system is suspended by a series of thin fishing lines, it does not require a frame or rails, but rather, it can be attached to any stable surface, for instance, a ceiling. 

As a part of the +Project innovation initiative, the Hangprinter is in the process of making a “Tower of Babel,” a project that currently measures almost three-and-a-half meters tall, making it the tallest object the system has made, as well as “much taller than the scope of any commercially available large format printer.”

Invented by Torbjørn Ludvigsen, who began the project while a student at Umeå University, the Hangprinter’s design was originally formulated to reduce costs. “The frame or box was almost half the cost of the final 3D printer, and I thought I could do without it,” said Ludvigsen. Hangprinter can be put together for about 200 Euros.

© Linnéa Therese Dimitriou © Linnéa Therese Dimitriou © Linnéa Therese Dimitriou © Linnéa Therese Dimitriou + 4

Build Your Own 3D Printed House, All in One Day

08:00 - 13 March, 2017
Build Your Own 3D Printed House, All in One Day, Courtesy of Apis Cor
Courtesy of Apis Cor

In recent times, 3D printing technology has made some great strides in its production content and quality, and now it has successfully printed the world’s first liveable house in Stupino, Russia. Responsible for this feat are San Francisco 3D printing startup Apis Cor, and Russian real estate developer PIK, who began the project in December of last year.

“Now we can say with confidence that with Apis Cor solution, the construction 3D printing has leaped to a new evolutionary stage,” said the project team. “The company and its partners are confident that the house in Stupino was the first step that can convince the world that 3D technology in the construction market is a reality.”

Courtesy of Apis Cor Courtesy of Apis Cor Courtesy of Apis Cor Courtesy of Apis Cor + 8

This Complex Concrete Column Was Made Using 3D-Printed Formwork

08:00 - 28 February, 2017
This Complex Concrete Column Was Made Using 3D-Printed Formwork, © Lisa Ricciotti
© Lisa Ricciotti

While large-scale 3D printing for architecture continues to be a busy area of research, France-based company XtreeE has been using 3D printed concrete in projects since 2015. Their latest creation is an organic truss-style support structure for a preschool playground in Aix-en-Provence.

Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE Courtesy of XtreeE + 11

This 3D-Printer Uses Holograms for Super-Fast Printing

16:15 - 20 February, 2017

One established 3D-printing technique is using laser to cure light-activated plastic, building up layers one at a time in a time-consuming process. But now tech start-up Daqri has discovered a way of speeding up that process: by using a 3-dimensional hologram.

World's First 3D Printed Bridge Opens in Spain

06:00 - 7 February, 2017
World's First 3D Printed Bridge Opens in Spain, Courtesy of IAAC
Courtesy of IAAC

The first 3D printed pedestrian bridge in the world opened to the public on December 14 in Madrid. Led by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in a process that took a year and a half from its conception, the structure crosses a stream in Castilla-La Mancha Park in Alcobendas, Madrid.

Although similar initiatives have already been announced in the Netherlands, this is the first to have finished construction. The structure is printed in micro-reinforced concrete, and measures 12 meters in length and 1.75 meters wide.

Courtesy of IAAC Courtesy of IAAC Courtesy of IAAC Courtesy of IAAC + 5