Oct 5, 2015 | By Benedict

Back at the end of July, we reported on Branch Technology and their ambition to change the future of building construction using 3D-printed architectural structures. Last week, Branch Technology unveiled their latest creation: America’s tallest 3D-printed object, an 18 foot (5.5m) tall, 54 cubic feet sculpture. The additive manufacturing firm’s impressive sculpture, which rivals the similarly colossal VULCAN unveiled by LCD at the 2015 Beijing Design Week, is being exhibited at the Museum of Design Atlanta as part of the Designers, Makers, Users: 3D Printing the Future exhibit. The 3D-printed sculpture was designed by architect Keith Kaseman of KBAS.

The immense structure, which has been named TN-01, is in fact a collaborative project between Kaseman and Branch. The collaboration came about after the two parties were challenged by The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) to show how 3D printing can be used for architectural purposes. After just over one month’s hard work, their record-breaking creation was complete and ready to be exhibited.

As you might have guessed, the 3D-printed TN-01 was not printed in its entirety using an impossibly gigantic 3D printer, but in segments, which were then assembled at MODA. The sculpture is functioning as a pilot project for Branch’s unique 3D printing process. It furthermore serves to highlight the limitless possibilities for designers using 3D printing technology, and will hopefully inspire further creation and innovation.

The principles behind Branch’s 3D printing methods are at once simple and complex. The secret to their design philosophy lies in the name: Branch aim to build manufactured structures which are inspired by structures found in nature. The Branch team, which consists of four members including founder and CEO R. Platt Boyd, believe that effective architectural 3D printing should involve creating strong and stable structures, not by using as much material as possible, but by using as little material as possible in the most effective form. Branch’s Cellular Fabrication™ (C-Fab™) technology allows for this possibility: 

 “We create the complexity of a cellular construct into which economical construction materials are applied to provide the function and strength of a wall assembly. Composite structures are created using the same methodology with which nature builds”, they explain. “Like bones in our body or trees in the forest, optimized geometries are made strong and functional by the material filling the matrix. The interior and exterior skins can then be finished in any fashion.”

Images from Branch Technology

The Designers, Makers, Users: 3D Printing the Future exhibit runs at MODA until January 10th, 2016. Its aim is to “explore projects, both large and small, in which 3D printing technology is being used in innovative ways.” Those interested in 3D-printed architecture will not be disappointed by Branch and Kaseman’s creation.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications





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