3D Printed Art & Architecture Made by Robots

3D Printed Art & Architecture Made by Robots

Branch Technology is a company that is
freeform 3D printing and what we’ve done is combined 3D printing with
conventional construction materials to enable a new way to construct buildings
or other large-scale elements. We had gone out and started direct marketing to architecture firms. One of them had a design competition that they were
interested in entering. They said, “Oh my goodness! We can create something amazing with this.” So they entered the design competition and won the design
competition based on our capabilities. Then we received that commission to
produce this open-air children’s pavilion in Cheekwood botanical
gardens in Nashville. Cheekwood is one of Nashville’s top attractions. We see about 250,000 visitors every year. Cheekwood opened to the public in 1960. Before that it was a private residence of the Cheek family. What we do each summer: We do a big outdoor exhibition. This year we’re doing international play houses.
Each one was designed and inspired by the travels that the Cheek family went on
in the 1920s and 30s as they gained inspiration to build up the Cheek mansion. We want to put out something that would teach people about architecture.
One of the countries that was available for us to choose from was Spain, and we
thought that had such a wide, colorful array of architecture so we wanted to put
out something really beautiful and really some creative forms that the
Branch Technology allowed us to take advantage of. It was an interesting collaboration between Gould Turner on the design side and us on the
fabrication side to create something that really hasn’t been possible with
traditional means and methods of construction. The organic structures that
we can create and then have printed are so different from what you would build
drawing lines on a piece of paper and so for us this was so exciting to
kind of dip our toes into what this could be. It totally changed the way we
worked on this project, which was so exciting. We wanted to have a design that
was first of all fun. We wanted to be engaging. We wanted a design where the
kids could feel like they were a part of it: They could learn. But not only for the
kids. We wanted a spectacular space so the adults could learn too. And that’s
when Branch Technology came along and we were infatuated by the KUKA machine and the capabilities. So for kids they’re learning. They’re learning about Spain, they’re learning Spanish, they’re learning Gaudi, they’re learning architecture, they’re
learning design. But the adults — they’re learning this new technology that could
be applied to anything. It could be for the future of what buildings become. You can create whatever design you want at a uniform price. We don’t know what is in
hold for the future of 3D technology. It’s so lightweight, so adaptable, so fast.
It’s able to be printed rapidly and it can be shipped. And we’ve seen tremendous value just through this Cheekwood exercise. Its carbon fiber reinforced ABS
plastic. It solidifies right when you draw and we use a big robot as our
movement mechanism. The topology optimization is looking
at how you create strength where it’s needed but where it’s not needed you’re
trying to be as material efficient as possible and so one fundamental
difference in our approach versus other large-scale 3D printing is that where
they say, “Oh, we’ve got this really cool tool. Let’s use it to the max.” Instead
of how much we can 3D print, we’re asking how little we can 3D print and create
optimized structures that utilize these other materials coming into it create the
strength of the normal wall assembly 36% of all waste head to landfills comes from the construction industry. If we can begin to use only the material necessary to create a building, that begins to change the entire supply chain of what it looks like to harvest, transport, post-process and then implement materials all along that pathway, and so it can save
enormous amounts of material. With traditional 3D printing it’s something
that studies have shown that you can save up to 50% of the material
used to create an object versus traditional machining methods and over
50% of the embodied energy to create that same object because you’re
only using the material necessary. When you begin scaling that small scale studies up to construction or larger scale it begins to affect use and resource
efficiency is what it’s about — stewardship of that. Just conceive of a world where everything is done three dimensionally. So you hand over a digital
model to the contractor and you don’t have endless amounts of paperwork that
follows behind you anymore. We, as architects, think in three dimensions. But people who we work with don’t always necessarily think that way. So it
allows us to take these ideas in our head and make it something real. People
can look at it, move it around, see what it is that we were trying to draw in two
dimensions before. And as far as working with a contractor
that allows them to take apart every single little tiny piece of what it is
we’re designing so the amount of precision that is involved is wonderful. For the first time at least in our office we were able to do a design that
it didn’t use a single piece of paper. The interactions between Branch
Technology and us was all through the computer. So we could tweak the
angles. We could tweak the different construction constraints of the exterior
envelope to make it so that it was the best product and that it could
actually be built and done on time and on budget. We think that that is the best
process of design. It’s giving creative license to designers to
say, “Come up with whatever you may.” And when they see this their eyes go crazy and they’re like, “Oh my gosh! Anything is possible.” We’re inventing a new way to build.

16 thoughts on “3D Printed Art & Architecture Made by Robots

  1. I see houses still going up the same old way. Most don't even investigate getting a solar package when buying. Were are all the companies that print houses. People are scared of experimentation because of equity. A home is nothing more than bank collateral.

  2. We've made a 3-D Printer robot construct a 3-D Printed Object using construction materials to construct a 3-D printed Construct.

  3. I came to watch a video of a robot doing something and all I got was 6 minutes of some dude talking and 10 seconds of a robot the music was also a drag thanks guys

  4. These people are evil. They are literally engineering the extinction of humanity. THEY ARE BUILDING YOUR REPLACEMENTS, HUMANS.

    If you want to save humanity, you better take a page from Sarah Connor's book. This stuff all looks fun, quaint and harmless… until you become obsolete and the machines wake up and stop taking orders from the weak, stupid human flesh-bags.

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