Early attempts using 3-D printing technology in architectural design and construction yielded rough and clunky structures. Today, advances in 3-D technology now allow for detailed and sophisticated full-sized structures.
One of the practical applications of 3-D printing in the design of full-sized buildings made its debut in December 2013 when the British architect Adrian Priestman unveiled a 3-D printed plastic sheaths used in the canopy of London’s 6 Bevis Marks office tower. As more design professionals attempted to incorporate 3-D printed elements into their building plans, many found the results unsatisfactory because of the roughness and clunkiness of 3-D printed objects using wet cement. To address this limitation of 3-D printing in architectural design, a group of 3-D printing pioneers from the Emerging Objects MAKE-tank, developed a process using powdered cement, polymers, and fibers as a 3-D printing material. The founder and CEO of Emerging Objects, Ronald Rael, recently unveiled Bloom, which is a full sized, 9-foot tall pavilion, at UC-Berkeley to demonstrate the use of his firm’s innovative 3-D printing process in making construction materials.
The Benefits of 3-D Printed Bricks Using Concrete Polymers
The concrete polymer bricks used to build Bloom differ from 3-D printed bricks made with wet cement in that they are more lightweight, ornate, and elegant even though they are comparable in strength. In addition, Rael reports the concrete polymer bricks create less waste than wet concrete bricks and projects using this project require less time to construction. Watch the video below to watch the Emerging Objects team building Bloom using 3-D printed bricks.