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3 D Printing: The Latest Architecture and News

"Form Freedom with Mass Customization": Technical Challenges in 3D Printing

When browsing the 3D printing tag on ArchDaily, it is clear that this technology has developed at an incredibly fast pace. If in the early years we observed the concept as a distant possibility for the future or with small-scale examples, in recent years we have observed entire printed buildings and increasingly complex volumes being produced. Developed by reading a computer file, the fabrication is carried out through additive manufacturing with concrete - or other construction materials - and presents numerous difficulties in providing an efficient process that enables the constructive technique to become widespread. The pavilion printed by the Huizenprinters consortium, for example, illustrates this process well.

3D Printing with Low-Carbon Concrete: Reducing CO2 Emissions and Material Waste

After water, concrete is the second most-consumed material on the planet and its production is substantially growing, expected to increase from 4.4 billion tons, reaching production up to 5.5 billion tons by 2050. Unfortunately, this comes at a huge environmental cost, accounting for almost eight percent of the global carbon emissions. With this estimated expected growth, stakeholders in the construction industry must work on integrating sustainable building materials and innovative processes. 

ICON Completes First House in New Series of Additive Construction Explorations

© Casey Dunn
© Casey Dunn

Construction technology company ICON unveiled its newest 3D-printed project, “House Zero”, designed by Texas-based firm Lake|Flato Architects. The project is the first in ICON’s “Exploration Series,” which seeks to highlight the architectural possibilities enabled by additive construction and develop new design languages with the purpose of “shifting the paradigm of homebuilding”. The material honesty of the house combines the expression of robotic construction processes with the natural wood textures creating a timeless design.

© Casey Dunn© Casey Dunn© Casey Dunn© Casey Dunn+ 5

Is Fake the New Real? Searching for an Architectural Reality

Excerpt from the book: Real and Fake in Architecture–Close to the Original, Far from Authenticity? (Edition Axel Menges)

The term “fake” has been in the media frequently in the early 21st century, referring to headlines and fictional statements that are perceived as real and are influencing public opinion and action. Replacing the historically more common term “propaganda,” fake news aims at misinformation and strives to “damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines.” Tracing fake news and differentiating “real” information from personal opinions and identifying intentional (or unintentional) deceit can be complicated. It is similarly complex to trace the duality of fake and real in the built world. To explore the larger context of fake statements in architecture and environmental design, a look at the definition of fake and related terms might be necessary.

Am Römerberg 19-27 as seen from Römerberg from the southeast, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, 2011. Image by Simsalabimbam, distributed under a CC-BY-SA-4.0 license. Image Courtesy of Real and Fake in Architecture–Close to the Original, Far from Authenticity?St. Mark’s Campanile, Venice, Italy, 1514. image by Luka Aless, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.. Image Courtesy of Real and Fake in Architecture–Close to the Original, Far from Authenticity?Simulation of Stadtschloss, Berlin Germany 1994. Image by FkMohr, distributed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.. Image Courtesy of Real and Fake in Architecture–Close to the Original, Far from Authenticity?Eiffel Tower Tianducheng, SkyCity, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, 2007. Image by MNXANL, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.. Image Courtesy of Real and Fake in Architecture–Close to the Original, Far from Authenticity?+ 16

First Images of Killa Design's Museum of the Future in Dubai Unveiled Ahead of Opening

New images of Dubai's Museum of the Future by Killa Design and Buro Happold have been unveiled ahead of its official opening on February 22nd, 2022. The museum promises a one-of-a-kind experience that merges science, technology, and the environment through distinct themes and immersive environments that tap into all five senses. The project aims to "transform the very perception of the future as we know it", showcasing a world that is imaginable 50 years from now.

Courtesy of MoTFCourtesy of MoTFCourtesy of MoTFCourtesy of MoTF+ 6

"The Same Technology that Will Allow Us to Address Housing Challenges on Earth, Will Allow Us to Venture Off to Space": Interview with Jason Ballard of ICON

Founded in late 2017, named one of the "Most Innovative Companies in the World" in 2020, and selected as ArchDaily's Best New Practices of 2021, ICON is a construction company that pushed the boundaries of technology, developing tools to advance humanity including robotics, software, and building materials. Relatively young, the Texas-based start-up has been delivering 3D-printed homes across the US and Mexico, trying to address global housing challenges while also developing construction systems to support future exploration of the Moon, with partners BIG and NASA.

Featured on Times’ Next 100, as one of the 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future, Jason Ballard, CEO and Co-Founder of ICON spoke to ArchDaily about the inception of the company, worldwide housing challenges, his ever-evolving 3D printing technology, and process, his partnership with BIG, and the future of the construction field on earth and in space.

ICON_Nex-Gen_Vulcan_Construction_System_Extrusion_May2021. Image Courtesy of ICONProject_Olympus_ConceptRender. Image Courtesy of BIG-Bjarke Ingels GroupNewStoryProject_ICON_Mexico. Image © Joshua PerezICON_3D-Printed_Welcome_Center_CommunityFirstVillage_AustinTX_2019. Image © Philip Cheung+ 13

Building Complex Elements in Concrete with 3D Printed Foam Formworks

With the aim of generating a significant impact on the responsible and sustainable consumption of resources and energy in the construction industry, ETH Zürich in collaboration with FenX AG is using foam 3D printing (F3DP) to manufacture geometrically complex formwork for the construction of special elements in concrete.

3D Printing, Prefabrication, and Interior Design: Construction Trends for 2022

Jorge Drexler sings, in one of his songs, that “we always look at the river, contemplating the other riverbank”. Beyond understanding everything that was done, looking back at the past year can serve to get some clues about the future. This 2021, we published more than 160 articles in the Materials & Products section, covering a wide range of topics. From complex concepts such as 4D printing or very little processed materials such as hempcrete and bamboo, drawing a retrospective of the covered themes and understanding what interested our readers the most is an interesting exercise to foreshadow some trends in the future of the construction field. Looking at our most viewed articles, three large themes are evident: 3D printing, pre-fabrication, and interior renovation. Below, we present a compilation of each topic, reflecting on what we can dare to say about the trends in the construction industry that should consolidate in 2022.

15 Architecture Projects for Life in Space

The Apollo 11 Mission, departed Earth on July 16, 1969, and touched down on the moon 4 days later. This moment marked a milestone for humanity and, to this day, makes us reflect on how technological progress is bringing us ever closer to life beyond planet Earth.

With the help of 3D printers, highly developed and fully automated constructive technology, we have compiled a selection of 15 architectural projects that demonstrate that life on the moon and beyond is closer than we've ever imagined.

Building the Future with 3D Printing and Real-Time Visualization

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Why is 3D-printed architecture on the rise?

According to a July 2021 report by Grand View Research, the global 3D construction market is set to grow by an incredible 91% between 2021 and 2028. And, why is printed architecture seeing such rapid growth? Firstly, 3D printing is emerging as a possible solution to some of the challenges currently facing architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) – it can provide affordable housing, shelters for disaster-hit regions, and an answer to sustainable construction. Alongside these, one of the main advantages is the lower construction costs. It’s far easier to calculate the actual volume of construction material required, resulting in less waste.

ICON Completes 3D-Printed Houses In Austin

Developer 3Strands and construction company ICON have completed new 3D-printed houses for sale in the United States, showcasing the possibilities of additive manufacturing for mass-market housing. Located in Austin, Texas, within a fast-growing neighbourhood, the East 17th St Residences development is designed by Logan Architecture and comprises four units with 3D-printed ground floors whose tectonics reflect the construction technology.

© Regan Morton Photography© Regan Morton Photography© Regan Morton Photography© Regan Morton Photography+ 14

Is It Possible to Mix Local Materials and 3D Printing?

The art of building a shelter made from blocks of ice is passed on from father to son among the Inuit, native peoples who inhabit the northernmost regions of the planet. The circular plan, the entrance tunnel, the air outlet and the ice blocks form a structure where the heat generated inside melts a superficial layer of snow and seals the gaps, improving the thermal insulation of ice. In a storm, an igloo can be the difference between life and death and perhaps this is the most iconic and radical example of what it means to build with local materials, few tools and lots of knowledge. In this case, ice is all you have.

Taking advantage of abundant resources and local labor are key concepts for sustainable architecture, which are often overlooked at the expense of solutions replicated from other contexts. With new demands and technologies, the globalization of building materials and construction techniques, is there still room for local materials? More specifically in relation to 3D printed constructions, are we destined to erect them only in concrete?

Automating the Construction Site

For several years, the construction sector has been facing a labour shortage, generating a growing interest in automation. The health crisis has only exacerbated the trend, prompting automation companies to turn their focus from car manufacturing to the construction industry, for which automation is expected to grow up to 30% within the next few years. The following explores present capabilities and future possibilities of automation within the construction process, its integration within the mainstream practice and the impact on design.

Elytra Filament Pavilion ICD-ITKE University of Stuttgart. Image Courtesy of ICD-ITKERobotic Collaboration. Image Courtesy of ETH ZurichRobotic Collaboration. Image Courtesy of ETH ZurichElytra Filament Pavilion ICD-ITKE University of Stuttgart. Image © Julien Lanoo+ 10