the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

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.

Projects using Pylos. Image via Pylos
Projects using Pylos. Image via Pylos

In addition to the economic and environmental benefits of soil, the material also offers numerous construction benefits, including “natural insulation, fire protection, air circulation, low first cost, 100% recyclable structures, stiffness, great strength, thermal flywheel effect, low green house emissions, regulating the climate and providing a healthy Indoor environment."

In preliminary tests using Pylos, soil (96%) was mixed with additives and other elements (4%), resulting in a material that has “three times higher tensile strength” compared to industrial hard clay. 

And while construction with soil isn’t anything new, its true potential lies in overcoming the many challenges that will come with its massification. Among these challenges are adapting and scaling vernacular building techniques; improving structural reinforcements and adobe mixtures; and strengthening adobe houses built in seismic areas. 

“Soil can be recycled an indefinite number of times over an extremely long period," states Giannakopoulos. In addition,  “old dry loam can be reused after soaking in water, so loam never becomes a waste material that harms the environment." 

Learn more about the project here

3D printed using Pylos. Image via Pylos
3D printed using Pylos. Image via Pylos

About this author
Nicolás Valencia
Author
Cite: Valencia, Nicolás. "IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil" [Conoce Pylos, la impresora 3D que te permitirá imprimir con tierra] 30 Oct 2015. ArchDaily. (Trans. Watkins, Katie) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/776261/iaac-researchers-pylos-3d-prints-with-soil/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments