MIT’s Silk Pavilion inspired by silkworm cocoons

Algorithmic design, digital fabrication, and silkworms work together to make a pavilion.

MIT MediaLab’s Mediated Matter group used inspiration from the cocoons of silkworms for the Silk Pavilion. Silkworm cocoons are made from one long, continuous silk thread. The pavilion uses the same approach, but with some high-tech help.
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Awesome laser cut Castle Under Attack features working catapult & trebuchet

Ponoko-made project by Andrea Garuti

Andrea Garuti’s engineering skills earned him the grand prize in the GrabCAD/SolidSmack laser cut toy design competition.

His castle-under-attack toy model — complete with draw bridges, trebuchet, catapult, battleram, and a basilica — blew away all the judges.

Andrea’s inspiration came from the medieval history surrounding his home near Modena, Italy. “It’s not a strict reproduction of a real castle. I wanted to include as many medieval elements as I could,” he says.

As part of the prize, Ponoko sponsored free laser cutting for the winner. Andrea’s epic design required thirty-two P3 (about 31″x15″) size sheets. Rather than ship an entire castle battle over from the US, we worked with our friends Vectorealism, a laser cutting service based in Milan, to have Andrea’s design made closer to home.

The picture below of Andrea’s son standing behind the castle walls demonstrates just how big this toy is!

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Transforming a shipping container into a huge 3D printer

The mobile 3D printer that can print a small room.

The Kamermaker, “room maker” in Dutch, is a project by DUS architects in collaboration with Ultimaker, Fablab Protospace, and Open Coop. It’s a scaled-up Ultimaker built inside of a converted shipping container standing on its end.

The shipping container was thoroughly remodeled by DUS into a beautiful, mirrored architectural pavilion. The printer has a build volume of 2 meters square and 3.5 meters high, so this particular pavilion has the capacity to print smaller pavilions.

Continue past the jump for more photos and videos.
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3D printing custom houses in 20 hours

A new video from Contour Crafting.

We’ve been following the Contour Crafting project by Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California for awhile now. If you didn’t see our posts with their early prototype or their proposal to 3D print buildings on the moon, then I suggest starting with those.

This video is of a presentation Khoshnevis gave at a TEDx conference. It includes some videos and images of their newest large-scale prototypes as well as a wealth of information about where they expect this project to go.

It’s worth watching the entire presentation, but if you’re in a hurry the footage of the prototype in action starts at 6:45.

Via 3D Printing Event blog

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Creating architecture from soil with Stone Spray 3D printer

A new twist on large scale 3D printing.

Anna Kulik, Inder Shergill and Petr Novikov from the University of Twente, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona made the Stone Spray 3D printer under the guidance of tutors Marta Malé-Alemany, Jordi Portell, and Miquel Lloveras. It prints structures using sand an a binding agent on-site. The current prototype is only large enough for human-size objects, but the intention is to use the system to eventually print full-scale architecture.

This machine is a twist on large-scale 3D printing in a couple ways. One, it sprays the material out of a pressurized nozzle instead of laying down a paste or a liquid binder. This creates texture that reminds me of a termite mound. You’ll either love it or hate it. Two, the majority of the construction material could theoretically be found on-site. Only the binder would have to be brought in.
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Michael Hansmeyer’s vision for algorithmic design

The theory and goals behind his incredible columns.

We previously mentioned Michael Hansmeyer’s spectacular CNC milled columns. To recap, the columns were designed using a subdivision process in Processing before being CNC milled from 2700 layers of 1mm ABS plastic. He recently gave a TED talk about these columns and, more broadly, his vision for designing with computer algorithms. Using this method allows us to create forms so complex that they cannot be drawn or even imagined.

Via TED

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CNC machined Analog Structures

Resource efficient structures

Analog Shelter is part of New Zealand designer Daiman Otto’s Analog Structures project. The cladding system Feel Free was designed to respond to the Shed Light exhibition brief, currently on show in Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. His aim is to produce a series of small DIY, standardized and customisable buildings that anyone can put together without the need for a set of saws and building tools. Feel Free’s exterior cladding encourages interaction by allowing people to touch and manipulate the exterior polyproplyene panels. (more…)

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Would you like vector engraving with your espresso?

Cafe in Tokyo serving up coffee and laser cutting!

laser-cutter fabcafe

Japan is the source of all that is weird, wacky and wonderful in integrating culture and technology. Since opening on the 7th of March, FabCafe in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo brings the world lattes with laser cutting! (more…)

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Building a tower with flying robots

Autonomous quadracopters build a six meter tower of polystyrene bricks.

While we are still disappointingly far away from the vision of the future presented by The Jetsons, every once in awhile we get just a little bit closer. Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea built this six meter tall (19.7 feet) tower of polystyrene foam bricks using an automated system of quadracopter robots for their project Flight Assembled Architecture.

This video shows some of the building process.

Via Dezeen

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When digital fabrication meets architecture — 10 awesome structures from 2011

Best of the Blog 2011 – Architecture

From open-source buildings and zero-waste designs to scale models and temporary structures, here are ten awesome examples of what can happen when the tools of digital fabrication are in service to the field of architecture.

1. The world’s largest wooden structure


The enormous Metropol Parasol pavilion was erected in Seville, Spain last year. Spanning 230ft wide and 490ft long, the pavilion is said to be the largest wooden structure in the world.

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