Nov 29, 2015 | By Benedict

Design enthusiasts and committed followers of 3Ders will be familiar with the work of Branch Technology. Earlier this fall, the ambitious design company unveiled its “TN-01” sculpture, America’s tallest 3D printed structure, at the Museum of Design Atlanta. The company has followed up on that 18 foot tall creation with a 100 square foot 3D printed movable panel system, whose surface cleverly imitates the topology of Southern Tennessee. Shawn Thorne, the company’s materials science expert, has detailed the ideas behind the massive 3D printed creation, which is being exhibited at the new Innovation Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The various projects undertaken by Branch each possess a share of the functional and the artistic. One of the company’s more functional endeavors is its development of 3D printed interior wall products, which the company see as the future of construction. This wide-ranging venture, which retains a degree of the company’s natural artistic flair, is currently in its testing and certification phase. There are strict building code requirements which must be met, and the design firm is working to meet these conditions whilst staying true to its innovative goals. As that area of the company continues to evolve, Branch is simultaneously putting its 3D printing talents to more creative activities. The 100 square foot 3D printed movable panel system will not be used in the construction of a building, but will provide temporary partitions between exhibit areas in the Chattanooga Innovation Center. According to Thorne, the 3D printed panel system has been designed to “[encourage] the innovators of the future to challenge all conventions, even the space they work in”.

The huge 3D prints function as three movable partition walls, each with its own distinctive shape and appearance. The flexible structures will be used “to create dynamic spaces, allowing flexible options for teams developing transcendent ideas”. Although the surface of the 3D printed panels may look like an abstract rising and falling pattern, it is in fact a scaled down imitation of the topology of Southern Tennessee. With the Innovation Center set to house creative projects from a number of Southern Tennessee residents, Branch decided that a tangible homage to the physical geography of the area would serve as an appropriate design for the transportable 3D printed walls.

Images from Branch Technology

The complexity of the topology also gave Branch a chance to demonstrate the full potential of their 3D printing methods. Inspired by natural landscapes, the unique shape of the 3D print also shows “how complete customization at scale can be unlocked through [the company’s] unique printing process”. The 3D printed panels, which stand confidently on the common ground between 3D printed beauty and functionality, were first shown at Chattanooga Startup Week, 12-16 October.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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