We have seen many uses for 3D printing over the past couple of years. Just recently we have begun to see 3D printing utilized in architectural design, and many experts in the field of architecture believe that this technology will play a major role in the future of construction. 3D printing brings complete customization, while allowing for the fabrication of different structures with varying properties, sizes, textures, and material components. It’s only a matter of time before we see the widespread use of 3D printing within the construction industry.
For one architectural school in Mumbai, India, called AA Visiting School Mumbai, 3D printing was a way for students to learn about variable porosity in structures. To do so, they 3D printed a 1:2 scale pavilion based on this concept of porosity.
“The strategy for variable porosity in this pavilion is an inspiration from nature,” Keyur Mistry, Mumbai Visiting School Coordinator and designer of this project, tells 3DPrint.com. “It is very evidently seen in many aspects in nature including the bone as they have more material at places where required and less where it does not have structural/functional need. Bio-inspired logic is translated into a design of a pavilion in this installation. Such dynamic spatial structure is developed using sophisticated computational tools and delivered with innovative 3d printing technology.”
Porosity was designed by Tejas Sidnal and Keyur Mistry, with the sponsorship of Melting Mints. The scaled down Porosity Pavilion was 3D printed in 87 different pieces over a span of 720 full printing hours. Two FlashForge Pro 3D printers were used in fabricating these unique pieces. When they were completely printed, they were then put together like a giant puzzle, creating a structure unlike anything seen before. Measuring 5 1/2 feet tall, the structure was on display at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2015, which ran February 7-15.
Because 3D printing was used to fabricate each ‘brick’ used for construction of the pavilion, the structure was able to be completely customized. In this installation, the mass and weight of each individual brick gradually was reduced with the height of the building to ensure that the structure remains balanced with an optimum amount of material, while maintaining a sufficient strength.
“The idea of creating an enclosure with an installation that houses a maker’s space along with custom printing was to promote innovation and maker’s culture in India,” Mistry tells us. “Completely 3D printing an installation with small parts and interlocking them to form one big piece is explored for this installation.”
It should be interesting to see if the AA Visiting School Mumbai ends up constructing the full scaled version of Porosity, and if they use it as an actual pavilion in the future. In this case, 3D printing allows for the reduction of material usage while allowing for the fabrication of a strong, structurally sound building, by taking a few lessons from nature.
What do you think? Will we one day soon see buildings like this being constructed using 3D printing technology? Discuss in the Porosity forum thread on 3DPB.com, and check out some more images below.