The 3D Printed Solar Bytes Pavilion Records the Day and Plays It Back at Night

Share this Article

Brian Peters is the co-founder of DesignLabWorkshop, and he’s spent the last few years working with 3D printers in his architectural explorations.

The Solar Bytes Pavilion

The Solar Bytes Pavilion

As part of a month and a half long residency program at the European Ceramic Work Centre, Peters created and built his take on 3D printed ceramic bricks, and he calls them Building Bytes. It’s essentially a system which uses portable 3D printers as a brick factory for construction projects on-site.

Brian Peters of DesignLabWorkshop

Brian Peters of DesignLabWorkshop

Peters founded DesignLabWorkshop in 2008 as an incubator for research into emergent design and fabrication techniques. After completing his work on a Master’s of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he spent 5 years as a working architect there.

As of September 2013, DesignLabWorkshop is now based in Kent, Ohio, and his latest project, the Solar Bytes Pavilion, is an experimental structure meant to highlight the potential for a new 3D printed architecture.

Making use of bleeding edge processes, materials, and technologies, Peters has fabricated a 3D printed structure which incorporates smart technologies like light sensors, photovoltaics, and renewable energy sources like solar power to realize his forward-thinking vision.

The Solar Bytes Pavilion charges itself during the day, and by night, it glows with all the stored solar energy.

Constructed from 94 unique modules — or “bytes” — each of the 3D printed building blocks includes integrated, solar-powered LEDs wImage 43ithin their translucent plastic shells which make up the whole of the pavilion.

The interlocking bricks feature joints which snap together to provide the pavilion with its support mechanism.

Laid out to track the path of the sun as it travels from east to west across the sky, the solar cells capture and store solar energy as they sense the changing light levels throughout the day. The arrangement basically records the path and intensity of the sun during a given day, and at night as the LEDs begin to light up, they play back a representation of the day’s conditions minute-by-minute.

Peters, an Assistant Professor at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University, uses 3D printing technology to create the individual modules. In this case, he used a 6-axis robot arm located at the Robotic Fabrication Lab at Kent State. A hand welding extruder, called the Mini CS, was attached to the robot arm to serve as the 3D printhead, and it extrudes plastic material in a sort of FDM-style process. The technology, provided by Hapco Inc. and called BAK/DOHLE, is employed by universities, government agencies, and concerns like the University of Michigan, Oak Ridge Laboratory, the US Department of Energy, and the University of Tennessee.

Have you heard of any other projects where architects are using 3D printing technology to push the edges of the envelope? Do you think architects will come up with ways to make the technology critical to the practice of building? Let us know in the Solar Bytes Pavilion forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

Whistling Walls & Sundial Arches: Ontario Architecture Students 3D Print with Clay  

What is the Future of 3D Printed Solar Panels?



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printed Translucent Façade to Cover Entrance to Deutsches Museum in Munich

Two years ago, we told you about one of the world’s first 3D printed, functionally integrated building façade elements. The concept of a 3D printed translucent façade was developed by...

3D Printing News Briefs: October 24, 2018

Starting out with education and moving on to medical and business news…buckle your seat belts, it’s time for this week’s first edition of 3D Printing News Briefs! Keith Moore, the...

3D Printing in Architecture, Engineering, Product Design: 3D Hubs Announces 2018 Student Grant Winners

Last year, 3D Hubs, the world’s largest online network of 3D printing services, reported that nearly 500 applicants from 300 universities around the world applied for its extremely popular Student Grant...

ETH Zurich Students Cast Elaborate Metal Architectural Structures with 3D Printed Molds

The innovative researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland are becoming quite well-known for their advanced design and construction techniques, especially when it comes to their work with molds. 3D printed...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!