April 3, 2014

The impressive column created by architect and designer Sam Welham and Richard Beckett from London is a master piece that has generated considerable attention. It highlights the entire bandwidth of 3D print technology in architecture.

The sculptural element features a total height of 2.1 meters and consists of two halves. The lower half was printed with 250 dpi resolution and a layer thickness of 0.3 millimeters in sand. The upper half of the sculpture, the white part was made of high-resolution PMMA plastic with a layer thickness of 0.12 millimeters.

Front side of the aesthetic column

Both components were produced on high-performance 3D printers at the voxeljet service center in Friedberg, Germany. Even though the molds were very large and complex consisting of numerous undercuts, it was, nevertheless, possible to print each half in one piece.

Back side of the column

The large-format VX4000 printer took less than 20 hours to print the lower sand half, which is 1.14 meters high and weighs 134 kilograms. The upper plastic half, which weighs 52 kilograms, is almost one meter high. It was created on a VX1000 printer in a build time of approximately 34 hours.

Close-up of the plastic part

Sam Welham is very excited about the technical possibilities offered by 3D printing, and in particular the precision and size of the voxeljet printers. The geometry of the aesthetic column utilizes a novel and independent architectural language with references to historical and neo-digital designs. At the same time, the sculpture underlines the fact that 3D printing is no longer used just for the production of prototypes and models, but also for architecture at a 1:1 scale.

The column will be displayed at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group Conference in Tucson, Arizona, which is held from 6 - 10 April 2014.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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