Once completed, the Dubai Municipality will become the world’s largest 3D printed building, standing tall at 9.5 meters with an area of 640 square meters. Executed by Apis Cor, a U.S.-based company, the structure was directly built on-site.
3 D Printing: The Latest Architecture and News
Concrete is the second-most used material on earth. It is also the second-largest emitter of CO2, with cement manufacturing accounting for 5 to 7 percent of annual emissions. The continued popularity of concrete as a material of choice in the design and construction industry, coupled with increasing unease of the environmental consequences, has put concrete firmly in the spotlight of innovation and experimentation. As a result, designers, architects, and researchers around the world are generating multiple visions for what the future of concrete in architecture could look like.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a term used to identify the manufacturing processes performed by 3D printing through layer-by-layer construction. In addition to avoiding the generation of waste through the use of precise geometries and exact quantities of material, these controlled processes can be much faster than traditional ones, since they don't require tools or other instruments.
Additive Manufacturing is done based on a digital model. The process begins with a CAD design or three-dimensional scan and then translates that shape into an object divided into sections, allowing it to be printed. Its use has extended from industrial design to the replica of archaeological objects to the manufacture of artificial human organs and tissues, among many others.
As construction evolves, new advancements are shaping how we design. These movements are the product of shared ideas and the convergence of building technologies that open up new possibilities for architecture. From the atomic scale of materials to preassembled homes and faraway planets, the changes in BuildTech are felt across industries. As a result, disciplines are learning from one another to reimagine how we build.
The construction industry has evolved throughout time, but always by way of builders. What happens when people are no longer part of building and construction? This is the question asked by British multinational infrastructure company Balfour Beatty, and they’ve published their answer in the 2050 Innovation Paper. The industry report has become a reference point to those looking at the evolution of buildings and design.
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.
ETH Zurich has unveiled details of “Concrete Choreography,” an installation recently inaugurated in Riom, Switzerland. The installation presents the first robotically 3D printed concrete stage, consisting of columns fabricated without formwork, and printed to their full height in 2.5 hours. The process is expected to greatly improve the efficiency of concrete construction while achieving the fabrication of complex components.
This is all quite recent: less than a year ago, a French family became the first in the world to live in a 3D printed house. Short of 20 years, this seemed like a distant dream, this new technology has developed quickly, and it arises as a possible contribution to the housing crisis around the world.
AI SpaceFactory has been awarded first place in the NASA Centennial Challenge. The multi-planetary architectural and technology design agency’s Mars habitat MARSHA was awarded the overall winner in the long-running competition series, which saw 60 challengers in total. The MARSHA habitat offers a glimpse into what the future of human life could look like on Mars, with a 15-feet-tall prototype 3D printed during the final phase of the competition, including three robotically-placed windows.
The Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) is welcoming applications for the international summer school — 2019 EKA Summer Academy of Art, Design and Architecture – Possible Futures! Application deadline: 26 May.
San Antonio based architecture firm Overland Partners have designed a series of proposals for new 3D printed neighborhoods in Texas. Teaming up with nonprofit, 3 Strands Neighborhoods, and ICON, a creator of printers, robotics, and advanced materials, the firm utilized the Vulcan II 3D printer to revolutionize home building. The collaboration aims to address the housing crisis in America and establish a sense of community for disadvantaged families.
SEArch+ and Apis Cor have won first place in the Virtual Construction level of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge, seeking to create sustainable shelters suitable for the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Using resources available on-site in these locations, the female-led, New York-based space research and design practice proposed the MARS X HOUSE, offering a robust, durable 3D-printed habitat using autonomous robotics.
Led by SEArch+ co-founder Melodie Yashar, the scheme employs evidence-based design for the form and constructability of the future habitat, intended for a crew of four to live and work on Mars for one Earth year. The habitat is designed to exceed radiation standards in order to ensure human health while connecting the crew with natural light and views of the Martian landscape.
Architects' general ignorance about the needs and requirements for people with special needs is worrisome. Beyond complying with mandatory regulations (different in each country), the quality of life for different-abled people depends on specific and daily factors that go beyond a railing or a ramp, and are often left in the hands of professionals who have never dealt with such issues.
This Ables, a project developed by IKEA and the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, provides an excellent resource for how to create an equitable design in the smallest and simplest of details. From door handles that are can be opened with a forearm to a couch lift that enables users to sit down and get up easily, these 13 products are available to the general public on ThisAbles.com. Some products can even be 3D-printed independently.
See the video below for more details of the project.
3F Studio has designed a 3D-printed façade destined to serve as the new entrance of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. The German-based startup, founded by Moritz Mungenast, Oliver Tessin and Luc Morroni, originates from the research project Fluid Morphology, a multifunctional, translucent 3D printed façade application, developed at the Associate Professorship of Architectural Design and Building Envelope at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
3F Studio specializes in 3D Printed performative architecture and design. The computational-based design process allows for “environmentally informed architectural design” and integrates functions such as ventilation, insulation, and shading already integrated into the new façade.
The renowned Centre Pompidou in Paris is to open its doors to two living sculptures, embodying the future forms of spatial intelligence. The exhibition, titled “La Fabrique du vivant” [The Fabric of the Living], will feature “H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g” by ecoLogicStudio in collaboration with Innsbruck University - Synthetic Landscape Lab, CREATE Group / WASP Hub Denmark - University of Southern Denmark, and "XenoDerma" by Urban Morphogenesis Lab directed by Claudia Pasquero at The Bartlett UCL.
Running from February 20th to April 15th, the exhibition will examine the notion of “living” in a digital era, where new interactions are emerging between the fields of life science, neuroscience, and synthetic biology. Permeating the entire urbanscape, this global, digital apparatus “encompasses miniaturization, distribution, and intelligence of manmade urban networks of in-human complexity, engendering evolving processes of synthetic life on Earth.”