These modular prefab homes could be the world’s first to use a steel 3D-printed “exoskeleton” construction system!

Located in Orani, Sardinia, Exosteel comprises the world’s first housing development to use a steel 3D-printed “exoskeleton” construction system that supports and distributes all the functional elements of the building, inspired by the sculpture work of Costantino Nivola.

Museums are social hubs for travelers. They’re cultural and artistic landmarks first, yes. But they’re also guaranteed spots where tourists can take some respite from long hours spent wandering the city. Near the Nivola Museum in Sardinia, Italy, international design studio Mask Architects visualized a cluster of homes to function as a housing development for the surrounding community. Conceptualized as a small village of modular prefabricated steel houses, Mask Architects is the world’s first architecture and design firm to use a steel 3D-printed “exoskeleton” construction system to build the small village, calling it Exosteel.

Exosteel comprises a group of modular steel homes that would be constructed using ​​a 3D-printed construction system that supports and distributes all the functional elements of the building. Mask Architects co-founders Danilo Petta and Öznur Pınar Çer felt inspired by Costantino Nivola’s sculpture work, in particular a travertine sculpture called ‘La Madre.’ Punctuating the terrain of a sloping mountainside in Sardinia, Exosteel is comprised of heart-shaped, white homes with center ‘energy towers,’ oriented in the same way as the head on Nivola’s ‘La Madre.’

Mask Architects plan on building Exosteel by first inserting a hollow central column ⅓ of the building’s height into the ground, reinforced by wooden beams to support each home’s three floors. Then, on each floor, a perimeter frame “divides and supports the [home’s] facades made up of panels modeled to follow the organic shape of the house,” as described by Mask Architects. Following Nivola’s pursuit of binding communities together through art, Mask Architects chose Exosteel’s location due to its proximity to Orani, Sardinia’s national museum, where Nicola’s ‘La Madre’ is on permanent display.

Striving to ensure each building is entirely “self-sustainable,” Mask Architects designed each module that comprises Exosteel to be expandable and flexible to meet the conditions of Sardinia’s natural climate and weather conditions. Considering Orani’s propensity for wind, the homes of Exosteel are completed with built-in voids that guide wind through each building to the development’s communal wind turbine. As described by Mask Architects, Exosteel garners energy from individual energy conduits placed at the top of each home.

Describing the energy conduits, Mask Architects note, “Each building is centered with an ‘Energy Tower’…covered with solar panels that will harvest solar energy while the top of the central energy tower itself will rotate 360 degrees at the same time with the wind that will also generate wind turbine energy…​​The main centered energy tower that houses all the systems is constructed out of a steel skeleton. By connecting our bearing steel beams to this skeleton column, we actually created a completely self-supporting steel carcass metal structure.”

Designer: Mask Architects

You can easily make your own products out of recycled cardboard too, like the Olympic beds





The technique isn’t too different from making papier-mache products, and all you need is a set of molds to really compress the cardboard pulp, creating a robust, durable product.

The response around the ‘anti-sex’ Olympic beds has been pretty amusing if you ask me. Cardboard’s definitely got a really bad rap as a material, because of its ‘packaging’ status. Paper can actually be pretty durable and robust if you get your physics right (try whacking yourself on the head with a hard-bound book); something Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan even demonstrated by jumping up and down on the Olympic village beds to prove their durability. YouTube-based creator XYZAidan’s worked out his own way of recycling cardboard into durable products too, by shredding old corrugated board panels and turning them into a pulp, which he then proceeded to cast into 3D-printed molds. The result is a lot like engineered wood, except made from disintegrated cardboard instead of sawdust. It’s just as durable, and if your molds are designed properly, the end product can come out looking pretty clean and finished. You can check out the process video above, or scroll down to get access to the mold 3D files that XYZAidan made available on his Thingiverse page.

Creator: XYZAidan

If you’re familiar with how injection-molded plastic products are made, the process for working with cardboard pulp is rather similar. You’ve got liquidized raw materials that fit inside a mold, which helps form and compress the fluid mass into a tightly packed design. Once ready, the mold separates into its different parts, releasing the final product. XYZAidan started by first preparing his raw materials. Grabbing any cardboard he could find and finely shredding it in a paper shredder, XYZAidan then proceeded to blend the cardboard strips with water and a water-soluble binder. To keep things eco-friendly and biodegradable, he opted against synthetic PVA glue for a more natural rice paste, made by mushing cooked rice in water over a stovetop to create a starchy pulp that would hold the cardboard fibers together in the mold.

Depending on the kind of product you want to make with your recycled cardboard, XYZAidan recommends using 3 or more mold parts, so that the product can release from the mold easily. Given cardboard’s fibrous, absorbent nature, the product tends to expand inside the mold, so you best create a mold that’s easy to disassemble, or you’ll either break your product or your mold in the de-molding process. XYZAidan took to a 3D printer to make his molds, ensuring that they were robust and had a strong inner support structure since the mold would need to be clamped together.

Once everything’s ready, just assemble your mold and pour the liquid pulp in. There’s no fixed ratio or volume, and a lot of it has to be done by eye. You’ll need to over-fill the mold, since the pulp has to be compressed into shape, and you’ll also need to have separate drainage holes for the water to exit through. Just clamp your mold in shape and leave it for a day, allowing the cardboard pulp to set in shape.

Once you’ve let an entire 24 hours pass (add a few more hours for good measure if you’re doing this in the monsoons), disassemble your mold and your product should be relatively set and easy to pull out. It’ll still be slightly wet, which means you’ll need to leave it out for another day to completely let it dry. Once dried, just trim the flared cardboard bits and you’ve got a final recycled cardboard product that’s robust, solid, yet incredibly lightweight. Depending on the quality of your mold, it’s possible that your product could have those 3D printed step-lines or layers too (see below). The best solution is to either to sand down your mold or sandpaper your products after they’ve completely dried. Then just finish them off with a layer of paint and you’re ready!

The possibilities are absolutely endless. You could create shoes for yourself, stationery-holders like pen-stands or cups for paper clips, robust laptop stands, or even textured sound-absorbing panels to mount on your walls! XYZAidan’s been kind enough to make all his 3D printing mold-designs available for free on Thingiverse, and you can even visit his YouTube channel to see what else he’s been up to.

World’s first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge links Amsterdam’s past and future in its red-light district!

Amsterdam is known for its calm canals and winding alleyways, its rich cultural history, and its affinity for all kinds of pleasure. Historical landmarks still charm tourists and residents alike between the city’s canals, while contemporary and sustainable architecture put the burgeoning Amsterdam-Noord borough back on the map. Linking Amsterdam’s past with its future, designers and engineers at MX3D and Joris Laarman Lab developed the world’s first 3D printed bridge over one of Amsterdam’s oldest canals in De Wallen, the city’s red-light district.

MX3D and Joris Laarman Lab collaborated with global engineering firm Arup along with a host of designers and 3D-print teams to develop the robot-welded bridge. Welding traditional steelwork with computational design, the stainless steel bridge symbolizes a linking of Amsterdam’s past with its future. Stretching just over twelve meters in length, MX3D equipped simple, technical robots with purpose-built tools that were controlled by integrated software that the team of designers developed over the span of two years.

Arup, the project’s lead structural engineer, practiced ​​advanced parametric design modeling to streamline the bridge’s preliminary design process. Describing the developmental stages and inspiration behind building the bridge, MX3D notes, “The unique approach allows us to 3D print strong, complex and graceful structures out of metal. The goal of the MX3D Bridge project is to showcase the potential applications of our multi-axis 3D printing technology.”

Currently open to the public, the bridge was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Ushering in a strengthened bond between the possibilities of modern technology and a reverence for the city’s architectural integrity, the new bridge in Amsterdam’s red-light district stands as a link between the past and the future.

Designers: MX3D, Joris Laarman Lab, & Arup

Using advanced parametric design modeling to streamline the bridge’s initial design process, engineers programmed software to control the 3D printer’s construction and direction.

Amsterdam’s 3D printed bridge merges classical architecture with modern technology.

Constructed offsite, the bridge was transported on a boat to its final destination.

Weaving through Amsterdam’s canals, the bridge was ultimately brought to its final destination in the red-light district.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands unveiled the project’s debut in ode to Amsterdam’s rich cultural history.

These 3D printed pods are sustainable personal offices that you can subscribe to just like Netflix!

Post the pandemic, all of us have realized the importance of having a dedicated space where we can focus on work without having to explain on our zoom calls what the noise in the background is. Meet the Denizen Architype pod – a smart, functional, personal office that supports your remote work life and also could double up as a creative escape! This prefabricated office is designed with everything you need for the perfect work day and you can set it up anywhere in the world if you have subscribed to it – it’s like Netflix but for a physical office space.

Denizen pods want to help reduce central office costs while adapting to the changes like remote work and flexible lifestyle. The 100 sqft pod is a modern solution with a small footprint that can help retain global talent, maximize productivity and reduce environmental impact that big corporate offices have. “It is ideally suited for high-volume production as a consumer product – more like an automobile or smartphone than a conventional building. Leveraging the latest in 3D printing, robotic fabrication, and technology integration, Denizen can mass-produce high-quality office units that are not only more desirable spaces to work than conventional offices, but also cheaper and faster to build,” says the team in their press release.

The modern tiny office is constructed from premium materials like sustainably harvested timber, 3D printed biopolymers, and durable metal cladding. The tech has been integrated in the pod to make your work from home life as easy as possible. The company hopes to partner with cities to help deploy pods in green spaces to build communities and upgrade neighborhoods so that those who don’t have a backyard big enough for the pod can still subscribe and take advantage of it. This will mean less space for cars, office parks, and parking lots; more space for people, culture, and nature in the city. Remote tech and architecture is a critical tool for eliminating the carbon impact of business flights and traditional office buildings.

“There is a major unmet need in the shift to flexible, remote, and hybrid work, and it’s going to take conventional real estate decades to catch up. Even prior to the pandemic, offices were expensive, distracting, and inconvenient. A better solution was needed. We’ve created a space so inspiring that it will change the way you want to work and live. And by offering it as a subscription service, we make it natural for employers to give their teams a professional, connected, and safe work environment,” says Nick Foley, CEO of Denizen.

The desk seamlessly blends within the large glass arch that has a switchable privacy glass made of two layers with liquid crystals in between – this is expensive so we wonder if it will be a feature available only for the higher end subscription models. It has audiophile-grade speakers and 40 Amp electrical service for the structure. Another question for the team would be the source of electricity since they are pushing for sustainability and reduction of carbon footprint. The Denizen pod is still at a conceptual stage but is an interesting way to decentralize offices as we know it!

Designer: Denizen

IKEA + Teenage Engineering designed these downloadable 3D printing files to amp up your home sound systems!

Raise your hand if you were looking forward to a concert or two in 2020. Yeah, me too. Missing out on actual concerts was one of the harder pills to swallow during this shamble of year, so the world of audio design got creative. IKEA, after teaming up with Teenage Engineering, released FREKVENS, a limited home collection of audio and light systems that enlists one main objective: get the party started. FREKVENS is a limited collection made up of several pieces of equipment, comprising sound systems and light shows, and Team Engineering leaked all the hacks for stylish accessories to match.

STL files, the most common 3D file format, can be downloaded to any 3D software, that allows design development and 3D graphics production, and then printed, which can take as little as 30 minutes to longer than eight hours depending on your model. Teenage Engineering used a Prusa i3 MK3 3D-printer to print their accessories that work as counterparts for specific items from the FREKVENS collection and uploaded images of those accessories along with their accompanying STL files for download. Once the STL files are uploaded, colors can be chosen for different accessories, which offers the chance for customers to customize their own accessories for their home sound systems. Teenage Engineering ultimately chose a Mondrian, primary color scheme for their 3D prints, which compliments the 60s cubism aesthetic that FREKVENS offers through their designs’ structure and materials used to build them. Each download linked to Teenage Engineering’s website comes with assembly instructions that detail not only how to build the individuals parts, but also how to attach the accessories to FREKVENS products. Some additionals screws and non-fussy tools might be required for assembly, but the overall assembly for each accessory is generally quite easy and no glue is needed.

IKEA’s FREKVENS audio system is designed for the home and Teenage Engineering’s 3D accessories offer that touch of customization to transport listeners anywhere. Whether it be to that EDM light show you had plans for before 2020 or the front row of a small-town, acoustic concert, this collaboration brings back a taste of what life was like pre-quarantine. Teenage Engineering’s 3D accessories for IKEA’s FREKVENS collection could bring a lot of excitement to the humdrum of quarantine life. Showing up on the video screen with a full audio system set up behind you not only gets the conversation going, but the party started. Scroll through the 3D prints below.

Designer: IKEA x Teenage Engineering

Humble 3D Printed Product Designs that can effortlessly change the world!

3D printing has evolved and how! Ever since its inception, 3D printing has excited us with the tremendous possibilities it offers us. Granted, we spent plenty of time 3D printing our models for fun, designers now have used this innovative tool to create technologies that can actually save the world. From bottle-caps that can quench the stranded tourist’s thirst to complete structures being 3D printed to offer a safe refuge when in need, there is a solution here that is effectively ground-breaking and has been manufactured by the humble 3D printing technology!

Designed to magically ‘turn air into water’, the Limbe by Fabien Roy is a new sort of dehumidifier that works without electricity, giving its user access to drinking water throughout the day. Its unique leaf-inspired design harks back to how water droplets condense on the surface of leaves, while its 3D printed intricate PET structure helps guide those water droplets down the ‘veins of the leaf’ into Limbe’s central axis which collects the water in your regular plastic drinking bottle.

An unlikely yet enthusiastic new member of the save-the-oceans movement is the Swedish carmaker Volvo. The Living Seawall is comprised of hexagonal tessellated tiles that sport a complex, interwoven structure that mimics the roots of a mangrove forest. The concrete tiles are first cast using a 3D printed mold and then mounted on man-made seawalls across Sydney, promoting the growth of microorganisms (they take to the tiles as they would to mangrove roots) that constantly feed on ocean water, purifying it of toxins, chemicals, and even minute particulate matter.

3D printed from sand, the ‘Spirula’ speakers by the Czech company Deeptime seem like they’re from another planet together! Silica sand was the material of choice. The porous and brittle 3D printed sand cones were treated with Deeptime’s special hardener, resulting in an airtight conch shell. Shaped after the spiral-shaped cochlea in the human ear and inspired by the deepwater squid Spirula, these speakers are anything but ordinary.

The Desert Pavilion was created to be a communal oasis of heritage and micro-ecology. When you look at the renders, the structure is a blend of local Bedouin architecture with space-age technology. The design team has envisioned an innovative use of 3D printed panels by deploying them onto a CNC bent steel pipe system. To simulate a holistic tent-like structure, the team used a hybrid of 3D printed polymer shells on 3D printed concrete topography with the ‘Mesh Relaxation’ parametric strategy.

Created as a collaboration between Formula 1, Designer Parfums, and Ross Lovegrove Studio, the bottles are F1’s debut in the fragrance market, and help capture an olfactory experience that most die-hard F1 fans will relate to… the smells of burnt rubber, brake oil, and wet asphalt. The perfumes don’t literally smell of burning rubber, but evoke a similar representation. Playing with ingredients like black pepper, musks, bergamot, leather, among others, the fragrances, available in a series of 5 bottles, capture the adrenaline rush that is Formula 1.

Apart from the electronics, and the rider, every ounce of the BigRep Nera is 3D printed. From the handlebars to the body, to the seat, suspension, and even the tires, the Nera is an absolutely stunning feat of design and engineering melded together to show how far additive 3D printing has come. The e-bike’s body comes with an edgy, chiseled design that gives it character and strength, and even includes a flexible bumper underneath the seat to absorb shock. Even the airless tires are made from 3D printing, with a lattice structure that gives it both strength and flexibility, allowing it to mimic natural rubber tires.

Yves Béhar and his studio fuseproject worked with tech company ICON to create the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood in Tabasco, Southern Mexico. A lively 3D-printed neighborhood of fifty 500-square-foot, single-story houses for the poorest communities who are always the last to benefit from innovation and technology. ICON issued its Vulcan II printer for the purpose at hand. In 24 hours a base cement home with walls is built, with roofs, doors, and windows added later on. Vulcan II’s functionality is foolproof against rainfall, power shortages and most dilemmas in rural areas. The slanted roof provides protection against intense rainfall. And the strong base and walls will support the structure against seismic activity.

Designed to show off their advanced titanium additive printing techniques (and also their engineering prowess), they designed the world’s first guitar that can’t be smashed. Literally. After creating a design that they deemed was the strongest guitar ever made (they ran their own crash-test simulations too), Sandvik 3D printed the guitar out of titanium dust using an additive manufacturing process called Direct Metal Laser Sintering.

SHOELAB, created by Martin Sallieres has been developing a 3D weaving technique, creating shoes from one material. By tweaking the properties of this material, the designer can play with density, flexibility, thickness. Very much like nature does. For example, the structure of a tree is very different between the twigs and trunk and is still made from one material. The created mesh is a full polyurethane shoe inspired by the weaving techniques of spiders, with a constant back and forth movement along the shoe cast.

Although 3D printing has just picked up, there are quite a few 3D printed bicycle designs out there. None, however, are made of steel. None of them also look as beautiful as the Arc Bike. Created by the students at TU Delft, based in The Netherlands, the Arc bike has an intricately detailed bike frame made to look like it was woven, rather than printed.

Teenage Engineering wants you to ‘hack’ its IKEA line with 3D printing

Teenage Engineering's IKEA collection, the FREKVENS line, arrives in stores this month, and Teenage Engineering is already helping customers hack the products. The company has released free, downloadable CAD files for a handful of DIY accessories tha...

Compose a Tune and 3D-Print It Into a Music Box with Music Drop

Music Drop

Give someone the gift of personalized music with Music Drop. So it’s not actually a song in the sense that you can only create a 16-tone tune, but that’s still something.

The service is being offered by Left Field Labs. Here’s how it works: you’ll be asked to compose your very own 16-note melody by clicking squares on a grid, with each one representing a certain note. When you’re done with your composition, they will then convert it into a 3D-printable file that will be used to “print” the tune in the form of a tiny music box.

 
Music Drop1

 

Left Field Labs explains: “We are all about using technology to help humans be, well, more human, and so we updated this small device with some of the emerging technologies of our time. We wanted to create a modern day adaptation to put tech and cheer right in your hand.”

Due to the high volume of initial orders, they aren’t accepting new ones yet. However, you can still sign up to create your very own tune and save it. Head on over to the Music Drop Web site to get started.

VIA [ C|NET ]

How Long Would It Take to 3D Print Your Dream House?

3D Print Your House

3D printing is all the rage these days. The technology has been used to print a wide range of objects, from shoes and handguns to custom splints for medical applications. What they haven’t managed to 3D print yet are houses. Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, though, because it’ll probably take a whole new kind of plastic to actually print a house that’ll last. Aside from the material, it’s also going to take an infinitesimally long amount of time given the size and capacities of current 3D printers.

If you’re curious, real estate blog Movoto has come up with a calculator that’ll let you compute how long it’ll take to 3D print the house of your dreams. It will also provide you with a rough estimate of the cost of your 3D-printed home, along with the number of bricks your house will need. You can check out the 3D Print your House calculator online.

VIA [ C|NET ]

Sturdy 3D Printed Hybrid Car Gets Close to Mass Production

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As 3D printed moon bases are planned by space architects, the construction of 3D printed cars should not surprise anyone. The sturdiness of such products is only one of numerous advantages.

It is clear as day to me that 3D printing is the future. Maybe we won’t be able to assemble ...
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