D-Shape: Freeform Architectural 3D Printing

Computation has enabled designers to manifest virtually any structure from the impossibly intricate to the most complexly curved surfaces we can conceive. Of course our Achilles heel is manufacturing these forms. Up to this point architects have had to achieve this by subtractive means (e.g. CNC routing, water jet, plasma, etc.) resulting in a slow and arduous process that yields a large amount of material waste, well not anymore!

The inventor, civil engineer, and Chairman of Monolite UK Ltd., Enrico Dini, has successfully created a freeform 3D printer for the building industry. The machine is capable printing objects at 25DPI in an area that is 20 ft x 20 ft x 3 ft with a print tolerance between .20″ – .40″ dependent on steepness of curvature, and because of the reduced manpower and elimination of scaffolding prints at costs 30%-50% lower than conventional construction. So far the machine has produced a scaled pavilion for Pisa Italy Enrico Dini calls Radiolaria, a biomorphic chair, and structural elements for a home on the island of Sardinia called Villa Rocce. The Villa is a collaboration between Enrico Dini’s D_Shape and James Gardiner’s Faan Studio.

Image by Monolite UK Ltd. & Faan Studio

Image by Monolite UK Ltd.

Image by Monolite UK Ltd.


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