Architecture and the Advancement in 3D Printing

A design group called Amalgamma is challenging the world of architecture, daring it to adopt new and modern techniques. The group is made up of four architects that studied together at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Francesca Camilleri, Nadia Doukhi, Alvaro Rodriguez and Roman Strukov are young architects hailing from all parts of the world. They are looking to revolutionize the future of architecture using new 3D printing techniques.

3D printing has been used in architecture since the 1990s. Its use is mainly for producing design models. However, the aesthetics and stylistic potential of its output remains unexplored by many architects. The biggest problem with 3D printing according to Amalgamma is the actual size of the 3D printer, which limits the ability to print large projects. Designers of most 3D printed buildings are taking the approach of producing small pieces of a proposed building and then putting them together like pieces of Lego onsite.

Amalgamma wants to change this stagnant 3D printing view. Their recent project, called Fossilized, uses a technique in which a robot arm is used to 3D print larger scale concrete structures. These structures borrow the shape of the Earth’s tectonic plates, which results in ornamental designs with meticulous and alien-like detail. Stunningly ornate and unconventional, the designers have so far printed out a column, table and vase using the robot arm technique. With an even bigger arm the team can create even larger pieces. Dutch architect Joris Laarman is using a similar idea to 3D print a steel bridge in Amsterdam.

The goal of Amalgamma is to challenge other architects to think beyond the standard 3D printed brick and to add excitement and innovation to the way 3D printing is applied in architecture.

This video provides a clue as to where 3D printing is going and shall we say, it is currently in the fetal stages. (See #4 for that).

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