MIT Media Lab Enlists 6,500 Silkworms to 3D Print a Dome Pavilion

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

A new pavilion created by the Mediated Matter research group at MIT’s Media Lab explores the intersection between material technology, computation, and biological and digital fabrication on an architectural scale. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to create a 3D cocoon out of a single, 1 km thread, a team of researchers led by architect Neri Oxman created a fibrous, CNC-fabricated scaffold made from 26 polygonal panels and laid out in silk thread. They then let loose 6,500 silkworms onto the frame to fill in the gaps and reinforce the structure.

Watch the worms at work in a video after the jump.

Get Your Own 3D Printed DesignX Bracelet at ICFF!

East
Friday, May 17, 2013
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Mode Collective's 3D printed bracelet. (Courtesy DesignX)

Mode Collective’s 3D printed bracelet. (Courtesy DesignX)

If you need yet another reason to go to DesignX next week at ICFF, Mode Collective has got it covered with their 3D printed bracelets. Stop by their booth to watch the 3D printing extravaganza live and to pick up a bracelet of your own. I [Heart] DesignX bracelets will be available in different colors and for a limited time only. See you there!

Featured DesignX Workshop> Skylar Tibbits To Present 4D Printing & Bio-Molecular Self Assembly

East
Thursday, May 16, 2013
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designx_4d_01

DesignX presenter Skylar Tibbits, the founder of SJET, Director of Self Assembly Lab, and Senior TED Fellow, will host a hands-on lab introducing interior designers and architects to the future of additive manufacturing and programmable matter. Discover how matter programmers design materials to self-assemble when exposed to the elements. Additional topics include 4D printing and how 3D printing technology is changing. Tibbits will utilize self-assembling structures to touch base on what these changes mean for design practices. The workshop takes place on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM and offers 1 AIA CEU. Registration is available online.

Get AIA CES Credits At Designx/Francis Bitoni Workshop.  Get AIA CES Credits At Designx/Francis Bitoni WorkshopJoin us for four days of hands-on digital design and fabrication workshops and at DesignX, hosted by the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and earn your AIA CES credits! From May 18-21, you can join the industry’s leading experts at the Jacob Javits Center to get your hands dirty with the latest in web-based design apps, parametric design, and interactive modeling services. Stop by Saturday to get the lowdown on 3D printed fabrics from Francis Bitoni, the man behind Dita Von Teese’s miraculously printed gown. Learn how 3D printing is transforming the textile and fashion industries, and get started with the fundamentals of Rhino3D—the world’s leading modeling software. The workshop will cover the basics for creating your design, manipulating geometries, and preparing your textile model for 3D printing. Visit deisgnX.is to reserve your space now, and for more information of the workshops and events.

 

3D Printing Helps Visualize Harmony In New Ways

International
Thursday, May 2, 2013
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The Harmonic Series (Courtesy The Harmonic Series)

The Harmonic Series (Courtesy The Harmonic Series)

In the 1800s, a French mathematician named Jules Lissajous began using parametric equations, beams of light, mirrors, and vibrating tuning forks to investigate harmonic motion creating what is known as the Lissajous curve. More than a century later at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, students Manuela Donoso and Luisa Pereira began using the Lissajous’ curve to further explore ways to visually represent musical harmony, using 3D printing technology to produce harmonic sculptures. Last fall, the pair also started using speakers, mirrors, and lasers to create devices and software that make prints and sculptures. They call their project The Harmonic Series. But they aren’t the only ones 3D printing music these days. Richard Dahlstrand of Sweden hacked a Lulzbot 3D printer to play and print classical pieces of music.

Continue reading after the jump.

Dutch Architects Join Race For World’s First 3D-Printed House

International
Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Rendering of DUS' proposed 3D printed house in Amsterdam. (Courtesy DUS)

Rendering of DUS’ proposed 3D printed house in Amsterdam. (Courtesy DUS)

Dutch firm DUS Public Architecture has switched gears from soap and water to polypropylene as they join the race (alongside British collective SoftKill Design and fellow Dutchman Janjaap Ruijssenaars) to complete the first 3D printed house. Their sights are set on a full-sized four-story canal house in Amsterdam, entirely printed and built on site by the KamerMaker, their own purpose-built 3D printer housed inside a verticle shipping container. Starting work in the next six months, DUS plan to have the entire facade and first room of the house printed and erected. With the “welcoming room” established, the architects hope to complete the rest of the house in the following three years.

Videos of the giant KamerMaker 3D printer after the jump.

3D Printing’s Newest Champion: Newt Gingrich?!

National
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Newt Gingrich with a Makerbot 3D printer. (Montage by AN)

Newt Gingrich with a Makerbot 3D printer. (Montage by AN)

While President Obama may have called out the economic potential of 3D printing in his State of the Union, one prominent Republican is trumpeting the new technology. In an article posted on the conservative website Human Events, former Speak of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich claims, “the greatest difference in our generation may not be between liberals and conservatives, but between the pioneers of the future and prisoners of the past.” Among the technologies he praises, 3D printing is nothing less than “revolutionary.”

Gingrich has long been a fan of futurist thinking and advanced technology. He campaigned for a colony on the Moon, another place where 3D printing would come in handy:

3D printing may revolutionize logistics and save an amazing amount of money in the Defense Department. It may also revolutionize our capacity to go into space by allowing manufacturing on asteroids and the Moon with minimum weight requirements. 3D printing may also return manufacturing to the United States by eliminating the advantages of low cost mass produced production runs.

 

TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits Leads April 12 Workshop

East
Friday, March 1, 2013
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Did you miss 3-D printing guru Skylar Tibbits at this year’s TED conference? Never fear, there’s an opportunity to hear Tibbits in New York City on April 12. And not just hear but participate in a hands-on workshop that Tibbits will lead as part of Facades + PERFORMANCE, a two-day conference on high-performance building enclosures sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper.

Earlier this week at TED, Tibbits gave 3-D printing another dimension, quite literally, when he presented the possibility of “4-D printing,” or programming materials to self-reassemble into new structures over time. Tibbits unveiled a 4-D printer concept developed with MIT that he argues could have far-reaching implications for not just manufacturing but also for architecture. Will architects one day be able to design structures that build and mend themselves? Here’s the idea, as Tibbits told TED:

“If we combine the processes that natural systems offer intrinsically—genetic instructions, energy production, error correction—with those artificial or synthetic—programmability for design and scaffold, structure, mechanisms—we can potentially have extremely large-scale quasi-biological and quasi-synthetic architectural organisms.”

Continue reading after the jump.

3Doodle Pen Combines Napkin Brainstorming with 3D Printing

International, Newsletter
Monday, February 25, 2013
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3d-pen-01

It’s as much a part of the architect’s image as a drafting desk or a T-square: sitting around a table with a client when the moment of inspiration hits and the first image of a new building is hastily scrawled on a napkin. But why limit yourself to two dimensions in hatching your new idea? In the age of 3D printing, the napkin sketch could be completely transformed by a new instant-prototyper: the 3Doodler pen, which would allow you to draw your idea in real time rising up from the tabletop. And the public seems eager to give it a try, already contributing over $1.8 million to the 3D-printing pen on Kickstarter with nearly a month left to go.

Continue reading after the jump.

Grow Your Own 3D Printed Protohouse

Fabrikator
Friday, November 30, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator
Protohouse by Softkill.

Protohouse by Softkill.

Print your next house in 30 separate snap tight pieces

While events like Maker Faire have done a lot to increase the visibility of 3D printing, the London-based generative and 3D design group Softkill has spoken openly about how they still think “3D printing is a specialized, one-off luxury, rich man’s thing.” But they went on to say that “there really is an interesting future for architecture and 3D printing because you have great cost savings and material efficiency, which architects are really interested in. That’s where 3D printing is really pushing the discipline.” Softkill recently tested the limits of the latest in Selective Laser Sintering technology with Protohouse, a ⅓ scale house completely fabricated by a 3D printer.

Continue reading after the jump.

3-D Printer Creates a Cathedral Fit for a Flea

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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St. Stephan's cathedral, courtesy Vienna University of Technology

Or maybe a dust mite. New 3-D printing technology developed by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology can fabricate intricate objects smaller than a grain of sand. This technology is made possible by a laser directed through a series of mirrors and a liquid resin that hits the surface and leaves a polymer line that is a few hundred nanometers thick; at 200 lines per layer, the printer can print 100 layers in just four minutes.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Video> Create a 3-D Model Out of a Series of Photographs

International, Newsletter
Monday, December 12, 2011
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123D Catch preview. (Courtesy Autodesk)

123D Catch preview. (Courtesy Autodesk)

Imagine snapping away at a favorite building, fountain, or desktop tchotchke, then uploading your photos to that super-computer in the sky we call the cloud, and after a just few short minutes being presented with a detailed three-dimensional digital model. That future, it appears, is finally here. Core 77 tipped us off that a new product by Autodesk called 123D Catch performs that basic photo-to-3D-model conversion, and the best part (if you’re running a PC) is that you can try out the beta version for free. We’re on Macs here at The Architect’s Newspaper HQ so we haven’t had a chance to test drive the software ourselves, but if it’s anything like Autodesk’s slick video demonstration (after the jump), we’ll be sending our photo archive cloud-side soon!

Watch the video demonstration after the jump.

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