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3D Printed Building? Are We Going To See One Soon?

3D Printed Building from harbour
Perspective view of Harbor

In times when many still don't know what is 3D printing, some architects and designers are full of ideas and plans how to 3D print full buildings and houses.


Here's one incredible vision, a project by Connor Nicholas who has an idea how to fully 3D print building on the site, taking manufacturing process to minimum of needed. But before, we highly recommend this interesting video which explains how important 3D printer can be in future architecture.


"To not question and to not look beyond the current process will end the role of architects and the design process.  The role of an architect is transforming at a faster rate than ever before in history.  Innovation is the key to ensuring the future of the architects occupation and place within our communities.  To stray from current knowledge and future innovation is to shut our eyes and walk blindly into our future.  To believe we have arrived at the ultimate building techniques and processes is ludicrous.  We must continue to innovate and question what we are doing.  With a struggling environment that we watch continue to suffer from our actions there is no choice but to push forward and imagine a better future.  We as individuals are only here for a blink of an eye so there is no time to waste on repetitive redundant actions.  We must ponder upon greater horizons.

[ To be scientifically minded ]

[ To be innovative ]

[ To be curious ]

[ To be human ]

Philosophy of 3D Printed Building

The current design build process is limited to certain dimensions of manufactured material and processes.  This creates a stagnant flow of production and innovation.  In order to change how we think and perceive construction we must reevaluate many areas of our process.  The areas of investigation that are explored in this project are fabrication, materiality, and parametrics.

These three areas are at the forefront of innovation in the industry and are pushing the field forward.  Without forward innovation there is no hope in a brighter future.  Three dimensional printing created a gateway for these ideas to cross pollinate and give birth to new innovation.  By intertwining technology from boat manufacturing, high performance sail construction, FDM modeling, BIM modeling, finite element modeling, advanced building material research, and large scale gantry processes printing a building in serial manner becomes a reality.  By three dimensionally printing buildings we can use local materials indigenous to the area, reduce the amount of energy and material used in construction, control the quality at very high resolution, create new geometries, and construct buildings at a rapid rate."
          -Connor Nicholas

Project site of 3D Printed Building
Site: Jacksonville, FL

Site connections
Site influences

Path optimization model of 3D Printed Building
Path optimization model:  exploration to be used as an interactive model for site influences

Details of path optimization for 3D Printed Building

Path optimization model integrated into the site
Path optimization model integrated into the site 

Final path optimization
Final iteration chosen for the path optimization model for the site organization  

Massing plan
Massing plan

Function plan
Programmatic requirements color coded 

3D Printed Building geometry
Cellular automation geometry exploration 

3D Printed Building geometry
Geometric language exploration 

Sun response diagram
Sun response diagrams and geometry definition:  allowed the facade openings to change apertures to create optimum lighting conditions

3D Printed Building model

3D Printed Building second building model

Floor plan of 3D Printed Building
3D floor plan showing wall cavities and facade opening integration

Section of 3D Printed Building
3D section revealing egress conditions, building structure, and integrated mechanical systems 

Partial diagram of 3D Printed Building
Partial sectional diagram showing stair integration, columns, elevator, mechanical and floor systems, and window openings 

Printed model
3D printed models

Wall section of 3D Printed Building
Wall section being 3D printed showing the different components and layers 

Detail of wall section of 3D Printed Building
The spiral material is the structural reinforcement being placed as the wall is being printed 

Printing process
3D printing process of one of the buildings on the site  

Printing process
First prototype gantry system designed to clamp onto the building to print buildings over six stories

Details of printing process
Detail components of the first gantry prototype 

Support system of 3D Printed Building
Process of creating a support system for floors and other components to printed one 

3D Printed Building
Second prototype gantry system designed to clamp onto the building to print buildings over six stories.  This prototype is more stable by creating more connection points to the building reducing lateral forces.  

Detail of 3D Printed Building
Detail components of the second gantry prototype 

Detail of 3D Printed Building
Detail components of the second gantry prototype 

Final master plan of 3D Printed Building
Final master plan

Site section drawing
Site section going through one of the main buildings 

3D Printed Building rendering

3D Printed Buildings

People in 3D Printed Building

Street between 3D Printed Building

3D Printed Building pavilion

3D Printed Buildings

3D Printed Building

3D Printed Building

3D Printed Building

3D Printed Building

All photos © Connor Nicholas

How do you like this amazing 3D printed building project? Let us know in the comment section below.

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