Perspectives

Our thoughts on new trends, ideas, technologies as well as updates on ongoing projects, press, exhibitions and events.

Perspectives on trends, ideas and technologies

3-d Printing Gets: Bigger

3-D printing has been a buzzword for awhile amidst increasing support for makers such as the establishment of Makerversity at Somerset House. Popular predictions estimate that 3-d printers will become ubiquitous household appliances as consumers begin to generate their own personalised products.

Makerversity, image from Tom Tobia.

Makerversity, image from Tom Tobia.

In the meantime, I’m interested in developments that are occurring across various industries:

With technological advancement comes an increase in scale, as both Joris Laarman and Nikita Chen-yun-ta seek to create architectural structures using 3-d printing techniques. 

3-d printing bridge, image from Joris Laarman.

3-d printing bridge, image from Joris Laarman.

Laarman is working on the world’s first 3-d printed pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam. Six-axis robots will print the structure in steel by ‘drawing’ the structure in the air using a technology that can also be applied with copper or aluminium. He has also recently founded a new company, MX3D to further develop the technology required for this endeavour.

Bridge sketches, image from MX3D.

Bridge sketches, image from MX3D.

Chen-yun-ta has recently introduced the Apis Cor 3-D printer, intended to be a rugged machine that can print houses on any terrain. An efficient machine which only requires 8 kilowatts of energy - as much as five working teapots, it can be easily transported using a truck. The Apis Cor is also able to create a multi-storey home of up to 630 square feet in 24 hours without leaving any construction waste behind.

Apis Cor printing visualisation.

Apis Cor printing visualisation.

What are the implications of such advancements? How will 3-d printing processes change the way we build houses and other architectural structures? Will we develop new material palettes to be able to make the most of this technology? How will this impact the construction industries in terms of labour costs and manufacturing?