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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
It’s been over three decades since the 3-D printer was invented, and to be sure, the technology has come a long way. Now, Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars is putting the technology to the ultimate test by proposing to print an enormous Möbius strip house with over 10,700 square foot of house. The Landscape House, as Ruijssenaars named it, will be a two-story structure replicating the natural form of a figure eight by using “one surface folded in an endless Möbius band” he says on his website, intending for the building to effortlessly fit into the natural world.
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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.