Mar 7, 2019 | By Thomas

Californian digital manufacturing service provider 3Diligent has 3D printed 140 unique exterior curtain wall nodes for the Rainier Square Tower which is currently under construction in Seattle.

Rainier Square Tower is a mixed-use skyscraper in the Metropolitan Tract of Downtown Seattle. The 850-foot (260 m) tall, 58-story tower will be the second-tallest building in Seattle upon completion. The $600 million project is scheduled to be completed by 2020, and will be the tallest building constructed in the city since 1985.

3Diligent was commissioned by Walters & Wolf, a commercial cladding company, to produce the 140 unique nodes, which varied in dimensions up to one cubic foot in size. The tower will have a unique, "sloping" appearance, starting with a wide base and gradually becoming slimmer at higher floors. Because of this, the cladding system for each floor will have a different angle and require complex geometries to fit together perfectly. Every piece of the curtain wall needed to be custom fabricated to meet the unique geometry of that section of the building. Walters & Wolf determined the best approach would be to create v-shaped nodes so as to bring together square cut parts of the curtain wall.

Based on that requirement and the geometries of the nodes, 3Diligent created prototypes using investment casting and 3D printing. These prototypes were assembled into curtain wall units before undergoing mock performance tests. These parts were sent for independent testing at a lab in Fresno, California, where they were tested for cracking and their adhesion to silicone and ability to remain water and air-tight.

Ultimately Walters & Wolf preferred the 3D printed prototypes as opposed to those produced with investment casting. “It was great that 3Diligent gave us both investment casting and 3D Printing options so that we could choose between them,” said Ishee. “We prototyped in both technologies and ultimately picked 3D Printing because of the dimensional accuracy and structural reliability it gave us.”

“From an operations standpoint, we were impressed with 3Diligent’s consistency in delivery of highly accurate and complex parts in a timely fashion that was in sync with the production schedule we established early on,” commented Tony Parker, Project Executive at Walters & Wolf. “At the end of the day, 3Diligent upheld their end of the bargain – they simply did what they said they would do.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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