Complex designs often require bulky structural systems to support imaginative forms. But 3D printing technology has begun to provide unlimited architectural potential without compromising design or structural durability. Researchers at ETH Zurich, under the leadership of Benjamin Dillenburger, have now developed an innovative 3D sand printing technique that allows for quick molding and material reuse.
They have used this technique to create a formwork to fabricate an 80 square meter lightweight concrete slab at the DFAB House, the first and largest construction of its kind. The “Smart Slab,” which carries a two-story timber unit above it, merges the structural durability and strength of concrete with the design liberation of 3D printing.