When it comes to 3D printing and architecture, we are merely at the brink of something tremendous. 3D printing opens up a whole new realm of imagination for building construction and architectural design, while at the same time, it provides for the potential to greatly reduce costs of construction. When I discuss 3D printing and architecture with individuals who have had experience in both fields, I always walk away realizing that one day, probably sooner rather than later, the two will meet and culminate in all new construction methodologies which are both more efficient and more enabling.
When it comes to mixing architecture, construction, and engineering with the technological innovation provided by 3D printing, one man has made a name for himself over the past year or so. That man is Andrey Rudenko, a Minnesota resident, who has already 3D printed a castle, and as we reported yesterday is looking to start construction for a large full-sized 3D printed house.
Now Rudenko divulges to 3DPrint.com that he has plans for something potentially even more incredible. His next project may be the largest 3D printing related undertaking that we have seen yet. He wishes to create an entire 3D printed fantasy-style concrete village.
Rudenko tells us that he has started working on finding a location for his 3D printed village, which he envisions being constructed gradually in a large, open field.
“I want to involve a large group of students from architectural and civil engineering colleges to study and develop this technology,” Rudenko tells us. “The land will serve as a practice area for the future architects and civil engineers to play with new, innovative, and cutting-edge structures/buildings, using 3D concrete printing technology. The village will be a set for small-scale houses and art projects printed out of concrete.”
Once these smaller scaled buildings begin being erected, Rudenko plans to begin the next stage of development, which includes 3D printing small, elaborate hotels, and larger structures, in hopes of turning this village into an international attraction for tourists, in just a matter of a few years. He envisions his village becoming an attraction similar to Disney World, but it will be focused more on science, construction and engineering, rather than just for entertainment purposes. It will, however, provide quite a significant entertainment value for visitors, as you can imagine.
“I hope to make this project international rather than just localized in one country,” explained Rudenko. “The idea is to create an international community in different countries, exchanging knowledge, experience and interchanging 3D files. If there is interest, students could create 3D models of unique buildings for future implementation.”
Because of the ease in which 3D files (STL files) can be transferred over the internet, Rudenko feels that no matter where his first village is created (he does have hopes of creating more than one of these villages), it will still remain an international project. Students in one country could send files for buildings they wish to have 3D printed and within an hour or less that building could begin to be fabricated within the village.
Rudenko, who originally hails from Russia, has connections with several architectural universities in the United States, Russia, the EU, and Asia, so he hopes to get this off the ground soon, with cooperation from these schools.
Because of the technology that Rudenko uses, construction costs can be greatly minimized, thus allowing for plenty of experimentation as well as school projects. For example, the 3D printer which Rudenko built his castle with, cost him about $200,000 to develop, while it only cost about $1,000 in materials to actually print the building with. His ultimate goal with the village, other than becoming an incredible tourist attraction, is to make it a place that is educational for both its creators and its visitors.
“When I talk to architects, they are not familiar with this technology and how to use it for construction projects,” Rudenko told us. “They aren’t aware of the limitations and advances of the technology. This educational ‘fantasy-style 3D concrete print village’ project should allow them to participate and see how the new technology works.”
This might be exactly what could help push 3D printing technology towards mainstream adoption within construction, architecture and engineering. It would be a perfect way of introducing those individuals who are unfamiliar with 3D printing as well as those afraid of the unknown, to the great benefits that 3D printing can provide.
Rudenko is still looking for partners who could help him in making this idea a reality. If you are interested in helping out, you can contact him via his website. What do you think about this incredible idea too create a 3D printed village that is used in order to educate designers, architects and engineers about the capabilities that 3D printing can provide to the industry? Discuss in the 3D Printed Village forum thread on 3DPB.com.