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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

Pavilion Made from Aluminum Cans and Cracked Clay Wins 2017 City of Dreams Competition

08:00 - 23 March, 2017
Pavilion Made from Aluminum Cans and Cracked Clay Wins 2017 City of Dreams Competition, Courtesy of Team Aesop (Josh Draper, Lisa Ramsburg, Powell Draper, Edward M. Segal, and Max Dowd)
Courtesy of Team Aesop (Josh Draper, Lisa Ramsburg, Powell Draper, Edward M. Segal, and Max Dowd)

Cast & Place has been announced as the winner of the 2017 City of Dreams competition to create a pavilion for New York City’s Governors Island. Held by not-for-profit arts organization FIGMENT, the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York, the competition called for a design to be the hub of FIGMENT’s free community arts festival during Summer 2017, based on questions of the future of New York, how design can confront environmental challenges, and how architecture can be built from recycled or borrowed material.

With these questions in mind, Cast & Place was conceptualized as a pavilion made entirely from waste. 300,000 recycled aluminum cans, cast into the cracks of dried clay, will form structural panels that assemble into shaded spaces for performance and play.

Courtesy of Team Aesop (Josh Draper, Lisa Ramsburg, Powell Draper, Edward M. Segal, and Max Dowd) Courtesy of Team Aesop (Josh Draper, Lisa Ramsburg, Powell Draper, Edward M. Segal, and Max Dowd) Courtesy of Team Aesop (Josh Draper, Lisa Ramsburg, Powell Draper, Edward M. Segal, and Max Dowd) Courtesy of Team Aesop (Josh Draper, Lisa Ramsburg, Powell Draper, Edward M. Segal, and Max Dowd) +9

This Concrete Furniture Hardware is Inspired by Carlo Scarpa's Architecture

06:00 - 22 March, 2017
This Concrete Furniture Hardware is Inspired by Carlo Scarpa's Architecture , © Sameer Tawde
© Sameer Tawde

Material Immaterial Studio has unveiled MIRAGE, a series of concrete furniture hardware inspired by the works of architect Carlo Scarpa.

The MIRAGE series is made up of concrete handles, knobs, and robe hooks, all of which aim to create character through light and shadow. Some of the pieces, with a zigzag pattern, are meant to reduce the heaviness of the concrete material, making it seem light and delicate, while other pieces are meant to express a sense of solidity.

© Sameer Tawde © Sameer Tawde © Sameer Tawde © Sameer Tawde +13

This Brazilian House Uses Different Materials as an Extension of the Surrounding Arid Landscape

14:00 - 19 March, 2017
This Brazilian House Uses Different Materials as an Extension of the Surrounding Arid Landscape , © Haruo Mikami
© Haruo Mikami

This article is part of our new series "Material in Focus", where we ask architects to share with us their creative process through the choice of materials that define important parts of the construction of their buildings.

The architecture of Casa 28 shows itself as an extension of the arid and exuberant landscape of the Cerrado. A variety of perspectives unfolds as you walk through the house. A family looking for tranquility and connection with nature commissioned this urban refuge located 10 minutes from the National Congress in Brasilia. The elements have different heights that confirm a spatial hierarchy. Extensive walls, coated with polymeric mortar, define fluid spaces and openings placed in all directions integrate cohabitating areas. We talked with architect Samuel Lamas from Equipe Lamas to learn more about the choices of materials used in the project and the influence these choices had on the design concept. Read the interview below:

© Haruo Mikami © Haruo Mikami © Haruo Mikami © Haruo Mikami +22

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

Inflatable ETFE Roofs Give This Resort its Pinecone-Like Forms

08:00 - 16 March, 2017
Inflatable ETFE Roofs Give This Resort its Pinecone-Like Forms, Courtesy of 3GATTI
Courtesy of 3GATTI

Focussing on prefabricated and sustainable means of construction, Italian practices 3GATTI Architecture Studio and OFL Architecture have envisioned an airy forest resort and spa in the historical region of Kurzeme, Latvia. The Pinecones Resort does its name justice by the spiky cone-like units that inhabit the site, made possible through the use of an inflatable roof constructed from ETFE, a lightweight polymer film.

ETFE, or Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene, is the most extensively used material for inflatable roofing. Being 100% recyclable and having a minimal carbon footprint in terms of transportation and installation, the material is highly sustainable and in the case of this particular project, offers flexible and dynamic building forms.

Courtesy of 3GATTI Courtesy of 3GATTI Courtesy of 3GATTI Courtesy of 3GATTI +10

New Timber Innovation Act Advocates for Nationwide Timber Construction in the United States

08:00 - 14 March, 2017
New Timber Innovation Act Advocates for Nationwide Timber Construction in the United States , Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

A new piece of bipartisan legislation has been tabled by The United States Senate and House of Representatives named the Timber Innovation Act. The bills were put forward to further the development of tall timber buildings in the US, thereby supporting the nation’s considerable timber market and the rural manufacturing jobs it entails.

The United States has an opportunity to bring new, sustainable mass timber technology to our construction industry, and the Timber Innovation Act directs technical assistance and research components already in place,” said Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of the American Wood Council (AWC).

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

MIT’s New Intelligent Material Writhes and Curls to Changes in Heat

12:00 - 12 March, 2017
MIT’s New Intelligent Material Writhes and Curls to Changes in Heat, Courtesy of Self-Assembly Lab, MIT
Courtesy of Self-Assembly Lab, MIT

Researchers at MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab have recently developed an adaptable material that reacts in response to changes in heat. Known as Heat-Active Auxetics, the material functions in a similar manner to the pores on human skin, tightening and loosening based on exposure to various temperatures.

Contrary to most common materials, which tend to thin out while being pulled or stretched, this technology expands in all directions instead and completely shrinks when compressed. This provides insulation in colder conditions and added airflow and ventilation when it is warmer, all depending on the material’s porosity.

Vo Trong Nghia Architects Designs Bamboo Beachfront Resort in Vietnamese Cove

14:10 - 10 March, 2017
Vo Trong Nghia Architects Designs Bamboo Beachfront Resort in Vietnamese Cove, Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects)
Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects)

Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects), has revealed plans for a remote resort located on a private beach on a tiny island in the Ca Ba Archipelago of Vietnam. The exclusive resort will consist of a series of structures constructed of the firm’s trademark material, bamboo, and will accommodate up to 160 guests. The resort will be located 2 hours from the nearest airport and accessible only by boat, ensuring visitors will be treated to an exclusive experience within the island’s tropical environment.

Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects) Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects) Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects) Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN Architects) +13

6 Eye-Catching Corten Steel Construction Details

08:00 - 8 March, 2017
6 Eye-Catching Corten Steel Construction Details

The characteristics of Corten steel has been respected by all architects, both for its strength and for its particular color. It corresponds to a type of steel manufactured with a chemical composition that provides an oxidation that protects the piece, practically without altering its mechanical characteristics. The architectural details of Corten steel present a diversity of situations and connections, not only the obvious constructive factor but it also gives an aesthetic value to any architectural project.

We have compiled this list of 6 eye-catching Corten steel construction details that stand out the most.

Manufacturing Utopia - How Assemble is Creating a Model Factory at A/D/O

06:00 - 3 March, 2017
Manufacturing Utopia - How Assemble is Creating a Model Factory at A/D/O, The installation is set at A/D/O's courtyard in Brooklyn. Image Courtesy of Sam Nixon
The installation is set at A/D/O's courtyard in Brooklyn. Image Courtesy of Sam Nixon

London-based architecture collective Assemble is set to transform an outdoor courtyard at A/D/O in Brooklyn into a ‘model factory’ to explore utopian ideals of work. The Turner Prize-winning architects will use their first site-specific installation in the U.S. entitled ‘A Factory As It Might Be’ to depict a vision of how society should build and function using abundant, malleable materials.

The factory workshop contains a clay extruder and electric kiln. Image Courtesy of Sam Nixon Shelving will be added to allow for object display. Image Courtesy of Sam Nixon A range of objects can be produced from the factory to enhance the A/D/O courtyard. Image Courtesy of Sam Nixon Assemble have instructed the A/D/O team in tile production. Image Courtesy of Sam Nixon +15

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 Rope Reinforcement System is an Innovation in the Structure of Adobe Buildings

08:00 - 26 February, 2017
This Rope Reinforcement System is an Innovation in the Structure of Adobe Buildings, © Camilo Giribas
© Camilo Giribas

In the city of Belén, Chile, as a part of the second phase of a Training Program for the Restoration of Facades in Belén, two historically important structures were recently completely restored. The project was financed by the Regional Government of Arica and Parinacota and SUBDERE (Undersecretariat of Regional and Administrative Development), in partnership with the Altiplano Foundation. 

In both houses, the foundations and, where necessary, the walls were reinforced, and the traditional Andean roof and existing carpentry was restored. Notably, the structural reinforcement of the adobe walls used a rope mesh system, which was first seen in Chile in 2014 as part of the restoration of a church in San Pedro de Atacama. 

© Camilo Giribas © Camilo Giribas © Camilo Giribas © Camilo Giribas +9

Sinks, Toilets, Shower Heads and Faucets: Downloadable Bathroom CAD Blocks

08:00 - 24 February, 2017
Sinks, Toilets, Shower Heads and Faucets: Downloadable Bathroom CAD Blocks , Courtesy of Porcelanosa Grupo
Courtesy of Porcelanosa Grupo

In order to support the design work of our readers, the company Porcelanosa Grupo has shared with us a series of .DWG files of its various bathroom products. The files include both 2D and 3D drawings and can be downloaded directly from this article.

Download the objects below, which have been separated into the following categories: Shower Heads, Toilets, Sinks, Faucets and Tubs.

15 Metal Fittings for Connecting Laminated Wooden Structures

08:00 - 23 February, 2017
15 Metal Fittings for Connecting Laminated Wooden Structures , Courtesy of Arauco
Courtesy of Arauco

When designing wooden structures, it’s very important to consider joints and reinforcements that will allow them to stay together and upright. These connectors not only allow for adhering wood to wood but also let you anchor wood elements to brick and concrete walls. 

With such a variety of pieces needing to be connected together (beam-beam / beam-pillar / beam-strut / beam-wall / base-frames), working with hardware requires the advice of a calculating engineer or a professional with knowledge and experience. To guide you in this process, we have selected 15 metal fittings specially designed by Arauco to connect wood pieces. 

M90 for 90 mm pillars Beam Strut V Joint Beam to Slope Joint Support Plate +16

New Type of Marble Protection Derived From Human Teeth and Bones

08:00 - 17 February, 2017
New Type of Marble Protection Derived From Human Teeth and Bones , Courtesy of Pixabay User Falco License Public Domain
Courtesy of Pixabay User Falco License Public Domain

Researchers at Princeton University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have discovered that hydroxyapatite, the primary compound found in human teeth and bones, can be used to help preserve the condition of marble, which is prone to cracking and deteriorating as a result of the effects of pollution and the weather.

Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself

09:30 - 15 February, 2017
Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself, X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani
X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Haresh Lalvani on Biomimicry and Architecture That Designs Itself."

It’s the holy grail for any biomimicry design futurist: buildings and structures that use generative geometry to assemble and repair themselves, grow, and evolve all on their own. Buildings that grow like trees, assembling their matter through something like genomic instructions encoded in the material itself.

To get there, architecture alone won’t cut it. And as such, one designer, Haresh Lalvani, is among the most successful at researching this fundamental revision of architecture and fabrication. (Or is it “creation and evolution”?) He employs a wildly interdisciplinary range of tools to further this inquiry: biology; mathematics; computer science; and, most notably, art.

Xurf Curved Space, 2008. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani Xurf Ripples, 2007. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani This self-shaping example from 2009—with its variable openings—has implications for building facades, ceilings, and wall systems. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani A number code laser-cut into this GR FLORA series from 2012 established the self-shaping process. As Lalvani's team changed one number of the code, the perimeter edge increased in relation to the area of the surface, and it crumpled. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani +11