Mar 6, 2019 | By Thomas

Architects at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have partnered with David Wolferstetter Architektur (DWA) in the development of a 3D printed façade, which will serve as the new entrance of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.

Each 3D printed facade element, measuring 60 centimeters wide and one meter high, integrates functions such as ventilation, insulation, and shading, while the transparent printed plastic of the elements looks a darn sight sleeker than the layered concrete blobs we’re used to seeing. Amazingly, the 3D printed facade elements are also weatherproof.

Some of these functions are provided by cells inside the elements which provide stability while creating air-filled cavities for insulation. Shadows are created by waves in the material, diffusing light in a manner specified by the architect, and embedded tubes allow air to circulate from one side of the 3D printed element to the other.

The facade elements—made using FDM 3D printing with a polycarbonate material—even provide tunable acoustics, with the micro-structured surface of the 3D printed plastic allowing sound waves to pass and reflect in certain ways. The 3D printed facade elements were made using a 3D printer from Delta Tower, a Swiss 3D printer company.

“3D printing opens up design possibilities that were unthinkable in the past,” said Moritz Mungenast, architect and research fellow at the Associate Professorship of Architectural Design and Building Envelope at TUM. “We can take advantage of this freedom to integrate functions such as ventilation, shading, and air conditioning. This eliminates the previous need for expensive sensors, control programs, and motors.”

Besides functional elements, the 3D printed facade elements also look incredible, resulting in a veil-like cladding when assembled in large quantities.

“Design and function are closely interdependent,” Mungenast explains, in relation to the 3D printed facade’s uneven and fluid surface shape. “For example, we can arrange the waves so that they protect the facade from heat in the summer and let in as much light as possible in the winter.”

All images credit: Andreas Heddergott / TUM

The 3D printed elements are showing huge promise, but more tests need to be carried out before they can be certified for functions like UV protection and weatherproofing. A 1.6 x 2.8-meter section of the façade is being set up at the main building of the TUM in Munich, where for one year, sensors will collect relevant data to help architects improve design.

The long-term goal is to have these 3D printable facade elements incorporated into buildings like museums, libraries, shopping centers, and assembly rooms. Researchers are planning for the 3D-printed façade to be used as the new entrance to the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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