The innovations coming forth from 3D printing are undeniably mind-boggling, but what’s even more staggering to consider is that a technology originally created to assist engineers in prototyping has actually become not just a tool but a source of inspiration in nearly every field today.
And while many of us might still be stuck in the mindset that 3D printers are pumping out pieces about the size of your hand, that’s certainly no longer true, as this technology operates from the nanoscale to the Guinness Book of World Records. You may still be reeling from our previous piece earlier in the week regarding the largest single 3D printed part created by ORNL and Boeing being recognized by Guinness, but as makers around the world top one innovation after another, the same goes for records. And it seems that Guinness is making way for the makers.
Rise Education asked Beijing’s DeFacto to head up the creation of the Rise Pavilion, which is now known as the largest 3D printed structure. As the DeFacto team recently told 3DPrint.com, this is a multi-faceted work indeed:
“This project is more than just a pavilion; its dynamic form is constructed with over 5,300 poly-blocks that double as lampshades, planters, and more. Eye-catching and innovative, the Rise Pavilion invites viewers to challenge current design norms and discover creative ways to reuse materials with multi-functionality in mind.”
The Pavilion weighs 1.87 tons, stands over 11 feet high, and spans more than 1180 square feet. This enormous project was inspired during Rise Education’s Young Creator Cup, and comprises five arcs, representing:
- Art and design
The enormous design is quite brilliant also in that it can serve as an exhibition space. They have used the structure in this capacity to show off 3D printed models that actually have QR codes attached. In scanning them, visitors can link up to videos which show the projects and designs from the competition’s top students.
The story behind the creation of the Pavilion is even more amazing though. In yet another project where they challenged and surpassed all the norms of both design and 3D printing, the DeFacto team (headed by US architect Leandro Rolon) had some major considerations, but mainly with the environment. In 3D printing 1.87 tons of plastic, the ecological impact had to be strictly controlled, and as the team explained in their recent press release, they did so by ‘by maximizing the after-use and up-cycling potentials.’
Not just meant to be a one-off, the DeFacto team created the structure to have a much longer lifespan than just serving to create a record and serve as a one-time exhibit. They also wanted to make the Pavilion modular so that it could be transported and easily assembled, but also strong and durable to hold up against ‘significant force.’
Centering around the theme of making a structure with ‘5000 lamps,’ the team set to work on making this happen with the thousands of 3D printed Poly-Blocks. And emphasizing concern for the environment, the design team chose this material specifically as the blocks are made with PolyMaker’s PolyPlus biodegradable filament and in keeping with Guinness World Record regulations disallowing any adhesives or hardware that wasn’t 3D printed.
It’s a general assumption that no one ends up in the Guinness World Book without putting forth extraordinary effort, and this amazing project is no exception. For the project overall, they employed 70 desktop 3D printers, with DeFacto’s partner, UCRobotics, printing out all of the parts in 45 days. With the connection system similar to one that emulates putting together Legos (and one easily reconfigured), DeFacto assembled and finished the Pavilion project in just three days.
The Poly-Blocks were made without supports as the team maximized their efforts while producing as little waste as possible. The blocks are made with upcycling in mind, allowing ‘for creative re-use’ later, as they come in a variety of different lengths with hollowed-out interiors. The coolest part about these blocks though is that with varied infills, the team was able to optimize translucency. Coupled with a lighting system, each block offers a warm glow, as well as offering a small opening just big enough for wiring when the blocks are to be used later as small desk lamps upon being given away to each of the competitors at the end of the Rise Education’s Young Creator Cup. Now that’s different! Discuss further over in the Largest 3D Printed Structure forum at 3DPB.com.
Check out the video below to get a good look at the 3D printed Rise Pavilion.