April 13, 2013

Because the inherent nature of 3D printing opens new possibilities for shaping materials, Emerging Objects, a design and research company launched by Rael San Fratello Architects is able to create 3D printed objects using custom materials. These 3D printed objects created using salt, wood, nylon, concrete etc can be seen as sustainable, inexpensive, stronger, smarter, recyclable, customizable and perhaps even reparable to the environment.

1. Salt

Salt for 3D printing is developed by Emerging Objects with Cal Berkeley architecture graduate student, Mark Kelly. Salt is white, translucent and dries quickly. It can be post processed for increased strength and durability.

The shape and pattern of the Haeckel Bowl (above) is based on the 19th century biologist Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations of art forms in nature. The bowl is made of salt and is naturally translucent.

Another example is the GEOtube Tower Proposal (below), a scale model for a Vertical Salt Deposit Growth System for Dubai designed by Faulders Studio. The model's modular components were 3D printed using translucent salt material.

The architect's conceptual proposal is born from unique environmental conditions. The GEOtube is a new kind of urban sculptural tower. Gravity-sprayed with adjacent Persion Gulf waters, its building skin is entirely grown rather than constructed; is in continual formation rather than fully completed; and is created locally rather than imported. The world's highest salinity for oceanic water is found in the Persian Gulf (and the Red Sea) – local salt water is supplied to GEOtube via a new 4.62 km buried pipeline and misted onto the tower's exposed mesh. As the water evaporates and salt deposits aggregate over time, the tower's appearance transforms from a transparent skin to a highly visible white solid plane. The result is a specialized habitat for wildlife that thrives is this environment, and an accessible surface for the harvesting of crystal salt.

2. Cement Polymer

The Cement Polymer material is a strong and rigid material that can be fiber reinforced, resulting in a 3D printed material stronger than standard concrete. The drum below is 3D printed with Cement Polymer. Each panel is held in compression using binder-clips allowing quick assembly and disassembly.

The finish can be sand blasted to bring out the grain of each panel.

Another example is "Seat Slug". Inspired by sea slugs and by the infinite tessalations of Japanese karakusa patterns, the Seat Slug is constructed of 230 unique 3D printed pieces using cement polymer.

3. Nylon

The strong and flexible Nylon shows a moderately high level of detail. Made using the selective laser sintering process, the Switch-a-Lope faceplate below has a pair of playful antler hooks that are designed to hold keys, necklaces, rings and other lightweight items.

A 3D printed Lace Vase made of nylon:

Designed by Janice Costales

4. Wood

3D printed Wood developed by Emerging Objects is moderately strong and a rigid material with translucency. It can be fiber reinforced for added strength. Made from reclaimed and recycled wood and cellulose material, the 3D printed Bevel Bowl (below) has the look and feel of medium density fiberboard wood products.


5. Resin

The DNA vase below is made using the selective laser sintering process. The DNA vase takes on a double helix form. The DNA segments of the vase are made of tiny translucent triangles that tessellate to form the structure of the doubly curved surface of the vessel.

Designed by Lindsay Oberman

6. Concrete

The Bevel Bowl below has a uniform open latticework structure and is 3D printed out of concrete. It has been lightly sandblasted to achieve a smooth, matte finish.

Another beautiful green 3D object is " Planter Bricks". The Planter Bricks are custom designed concrete masonry units that can hold plants and vegetation. The planter bricks may be combined with traditional bricks in new masonry walls or to replace bricks in an existing wall.

7. ABS

The WAVE curtain is a passive solar curtain that is designed to admit the low winter sun into the building interior and restrict the direct, intense summer sun in order to help keep the interior cool. The curtain does this through the use of cylindrical tubes that vary in width and depth along the length of the window. Because the cylindrical tubes are hollow one always has access to exterior views -even when the sun is being blocked -unlike a typical shade or curtain. The curtain is 3D printed of white ABS and is recyclable.

(Images credit: Emerging Objects)

These research and designs could expand the potential of 3D printing to serve the fields of architecture, interior design, furniture design and product design.


Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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Herp De Derp wrote at 4/22/2016 6:33:08 PM:

derp #niceshirt

Keith wrote at 4/15/2013 3:57:57 AM:

"The drum below is 3D printed with Cement Polymer." "The Bevel Bowl below has a uniform open latticework structure and is 3D printed out of concrete." Little more detail please?

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