Aug.4, 2012

A research project Stone Spray led by Petr Novikov, Inder Shergill and Anna Kulik is carried out in the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona.

'Stone Spray' is an on-site robotic 3D printer that uses a jet spray system to deposit the mix of soil and liquid binder to construct architectural shapes.

This project is supervised by professionals and member from Fab Lab Bcn aiming to push further the boundaries of digital manufacturing and explore the possibilities of an on-site fabrication machines.

The digitally controlled robot 3D printer uses solar energy to mix the soil with a solidifier component and sprays it from a nozzle on surfaces. When the mixture hits the surface it solidifies to create structures. Unlike other 3D printers, the stone spray robot is designed to print multi-directionally, even on vertical surfaces.

The solidifier material is composed out of LEED Certified components therefore the whole system is eco-friendly. It is still a reseach project, but it is easy to see the potential for constructing building in the future using such a system and eco-friendly materials.

Some print samples:

1. Sand Wall

Size: 500 mm x 150 mm x 400 mm

The Sand Wall is structurally strong and can support not only itself but even bear a load. Also a script was developed to optimize the structure.


2. Sand Tree

Size: 200 mm x 200 mm x 400 mm
The Sand Tree experiment explored the possibilities of multi directional spraying without the scaffolding. As a result the rules of length to angle proportions were created.


3. Sand Stool (No-Formwork)

Size: 400 mm x 400 mm x 400 mm

This stool is replicating the the first model done with formwork, but in this case the metal wire is not used. The structure holds itself without any support material, the only materials used are sand and soil-solidifier. As well the size of the stool was increased.


4. Sand Stool (with Formwork)

Materials: beach sand, soil solidifyer

Spraying time: 3 hours

Solidifying time: 1 hour

Size: 200 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm

This stool was made using a Stone Spray nozzle and wire scaffolding. It took only 3 hours to make it and 1 hour for it to solidify completely. This research showed that scaffolding speeds up the process of spraying and improves structural qualities. Also some decisions regarding nozzle configuration were taken.


5. 2 columns

The column on the left took 20 minutes to print, while the one to the left took 10, and no scaffolding or support material used.


Read the whole story of this 6 months projects here.

Watch the Stone Spray Robot in action in the video below.


Images credit: Stone Spray

Source: Designboom


Posted in 3D Printers



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