Using 3-D printing to make something from nothing seems like magic: Is the bathroom sink’s faucet dripping at night? With the push of a button, then you might have a brand-new one in minutes. Did that manage break off your silverware drawer? No problem; just publish a new one.
For architects that the possibility of 3-D printing is especially thrilling; its effective usage of materials, time and labor might be the way of the future. “However, I think that the focus here should not be if the technology will make house building expensive or cheaper; it’s actually the design freedom that the technology enables designers to perform,” says Sophia Tang, designer in Softkill Design, a London firm that has developed a first prototype for a 3-D printed house. Softkill is one of several companies taking advantage of what 3-D printing has to offer and the way with innovative and Profession home layouts.
Take a look at these three ancient theories for 3-D printed architecture: Would these be the cornerstone of a new kind of house your grandchildren or great-grandchildren may live in?
Janjaap Ruijssenaars, leader at Dutch company Universe Architecture, planned his latest design first, then determined that 3-D printing has been the ideal approach to bring it into life. Printing the first model with a 3-D printer enabled the group to assemble it from top to bottom (with a 3-D printer’s layering technique) with no flaws in the plan. Obviously, the team believed whether they could print the house in full scale.
This floor plan indicates the house, called the Landscape House, from above. The design started with a simple question: Can a building be just like a landscape? For Ruijssenaars, the most important part of a landscape is the fact that it has no beginning or end.
Along with artist Rinus Roelofs, Ruijssenaars made the house in the shape of an infinite Möbius strip. The house is one loop with steps from 1 floor to the next, all with exactly the same surface.
Construction of the house is scheduled to begin in 2014. Ruijssenaars will publish everything in these renderings that is not glass, filling the printed components with fiber-reinforced steel and concrete for structural equilibrium. The printer will use a combination of sand and a binding agent to publish 20- to 30-foot sections of the house from the ground up.
While this design is far from accessible at this time, Ruijssenaars considers it can help connect architecture to 3-D printing, finally leading to a different building technique.
Softkill Design’s crazy, spiderweb-like design takes a very different, more conceptual approach to 3-D printing. The idea is reflected here, at a 3-D printed version at 1:33 scale. Made entirely from woven 3-D printed vinyl, the prototype would preserve materials and reduce labor time. The structure is based on an algorithm which reproduces bone growth and deposits more substance along lines of stress, using only what’s necessary and productive.
This initial design is the firm’s first prototype of a 3-D house, in which they experimented with various ways to combine 3-D printing and architecture.
Clearly, many logistical problems will need to be addressed, therefore Softkill is currently working on a second version of the house that would solve concerns about work and relaxation for real life usage.
Following a year’s worth of research on structural optimisation, the Softkill team believes they’ve come up with a means to design cheaper buildings which use less material without sacrificing structural integrity. “In a way, the house was just a little case study for us, to see whether there’s any form of aesthetic or design which could be produced purely for 3-D printing,” says designer Tang. “We are not interested in copying what could be done with other existing procedures.”
The woven construction would almost act as a rainscreen — a separate waterproofing layer functions as the exterior cladding and interior walls to protect the structure from inclement weather. While the design could technically be printed in almost any substance, Softkill would publish the house from laser-sintered bioplastic.
Softkill says the house could be printed in 31 sections in three weeks, using the biggest 3-D printer in the world. Each piece would be about 26 feet wide and 13 feet long, but lightweight enough to transport via truck. The sections could only interlock without adhesive, reducing construction time to a single day.
Designer Bryan Allen and sculptor Stephanie Smith have combined forces to choose an approach very similar to Softkill’s: creating a brand-new structure material with 3-D printers. The final printed form of this substance, pictured here, was motivated by the xylem layer of trees. “The 3-D printing procedure enabled us to attest a form which wouldn’t have been possible any other way,” says Allen.
This representation shows one program: a pavilion in among Northern California’s redwood forests, to be completed at August 2013.
More: 3-D Printing Takes Furnishings at a New Direction