Metal Binder Jetting
Automotive Polymers

BigRep and NOWLAB Show Off Green Thumb with 3D Printed Green Wall Prototype

Share this Article

NOWLAB, the innovation department of large-format 3D printing leader BigRep, has built walls before, but not like the one it just introduced. The BigRep Innovation Consultancy recently premiered its new BANYAN ECO WALL prototype, which is the first 3D printed, irrigated green wall in the world that includes its own embedded water supply and drainage system.

“Our BANYAN ECO WALL is adopting nature’s principle with a complex, smart, and elegant design only achievable with AM,” said BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer, PhD. “Traditional technologies such as milling or injection molding cannot deliver this level of complexity and dual functionality. For the first time, thanks to AM and advanced CAD software, it is now possible to create complex functional designs within a fully digitized process chain.”

Mirek Claßen, Tobias Storz, and Lindsay Lawson were the lead designers for the prototype wall, which features a bionic design and multipurpose, embedded AM functionalities. The idea behind the BANYAN ECO WALL – created using BigRep’s serial production, large-scale FFF 3D printers – was inspired by the properties of plant systems, like the leaves, roots, and stem. Measuring 2000 x 2000 x 600 mm, the wall is a support structure for plants, while at the same time acting as a water supply system.

The BANYAN ECO WALL is made up of four 3D printed segments, and is a game-changer in terms of vertical farm technology with its size, functionality, and design. The overall structure was printed out of BigRep’s PETG material, with the 3D printed planters were made with the company’s Black PRO HT.

“Generative design software was crucial in the creation of the BANYAN ECO WALL to optimize the structure for printability and stability while allowing a rapid iterative design process,” explained Daniel Büning, the CIO for BigRep and the Managing Director of NOWLAB. “This prototype will push the boundaries of AM not only in irrigated plant systems, such as in vertical farming and green facades, but for any application requiring embedded functionalities.”

The bionic design for the BANYAN ECO WALL isn’t meant to just look nice – it’s actually structurally optimized, with plant carriers that organically snap right into place. Other irrigation systems in the world offer plants a controlled supply of water at various intervals, to make sure that humans don’t need to intervene in order to keep crops and plants alive and healthy. NOWLAB’s 3D printed wall follows this example by providing miniature internal channels, which offer optimal water flow using an integrated “micro shower” mechanism that keeps the plants irrigated exactly where they need to be.

Drainage systems are necessary for a fully-functioning integrated irrigation system as a way to remove excess water. Typically, 3D printed green walls use either metal drainage systems that are integrated into the wall at a later time, or are based on complex, confusing systems with multiple parts. But, the BANYAN ECO WALL’s embedded drainage system was actually created during the 3D printing process, which is a first for the industry and makes this project even more exciting.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images: BigRep]

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printed Homes Catch the Eyes of Policymakers Across the US

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Thursday 18th of August



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Wednesday 17th of August

Today we’re talking about Spectroplast brings a silicone 3D printer on the market, the Pylo 3D printed bike helmet, a study on the effects 3D printing has on global trade,...

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Tuesday 16th of August

Today we’re discussing a revolutionary new open printer for soft materials developed by Cambridge University researchers, Czinger making parts for Aston Martin, Astro America and America Makes BBF? and Craft...

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Monday 15th of August

Today we’re looking at a company that says it is using a more sustainable 3D printing solution. As it’s using EPS foam, we’re a bit skeptical. We’re also looking at...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: August 14, 2022

This week, you can catch Markforged and Stratasys on the road, and ASTM continues its personnel certificate course. America Makes is celebrating its 10th anniversary and holding MMX, and Nexa3D...