While 3D printing has many advantages it also limits you. The technology is meant to be quick, repeatable and precise. The forms may differ but each time the machine repeats the same action, extruding layer after layer. Repeating itself until an idea becomes a thing. Random factors are excluded. When making a 3D printer or developing a 3D printing process, increasing the level of repeatability and precision is key. But this also means that 3D printing sometimes feels rather “kil.” Kil is a Dutch word meaning cold, clinical, without feeling, an absence of humanity to some extent.
By making these machines that make, we push the human to the background and place the machine front and center. Paradoxically 3D printing lets more people make but simultaneously removes them from the process. We often don’t touch an object before it is done.
By introducing elements of randomness I wanted to reintroduce error, a human touch, stochasticity. I felt that the process craved some serendipity, joy through intentional failure. I wanted repeatability and precision but found I also needed mistakes.
– Oliver van Herpt
In Stratigraphic Manufactury, Unfold builds on their Stratigraphic Porcelain series started in 2010 with their internationally acclaimed installation l’Artisan Électronique and explores methods of manufacturing and distributing design in the dawning era of digital production. Stratigraphic Manufactury is a new model for the distribution and digital manufacturing of porcelain, which includes local small manufacturing units that are globally connected. One that embraces local production variations and influences.
Artists have always used whatever materials that science and engineering made available. What Keep has accomplished is to use the tools of scientific discovery to capture beauty directly. A genuine art pioneer, Keep has long used computer software to develop new ceramic forms. With an abiding interest in the hidden numerical code that underpins all of Nature, he has developed a working process whereby the shapes of his creations are written in computer code. This digital information is passed through his studio-based DIY 3D printer—no less an engineering achievement—that he adapted to print in clay. Push the button and Eureka! Layer by layer, his pots (I prefer to call them artworks because they are certainly the children of his mind) are printed out. It is a sort of mechanical pottery coil building. After printing, the ceramic object is glazed and fired in the normal manner.
From the elemental forces of earth, fire and water, pottery has traditionally drawn on nature for inspiration. In using computer code to create this work, I aim to add a further layer to include the elemental, natural mathematical patterns and structures that underlie all form. This work illustrates just how much we are connected at a very deep level to the natural world.
Keep built his own 3D printer based upon a robotics model. The “ink” in Keep’s ceramic printer is ejected using a clay extruder made from parts adapted from the adhesives industry. We are seeing the future and it is full of Icebergs. Only Luddite sailing aboard their own little Titanics need fear these seas.
Pylos portrays the interest to develop 3D printing as a large scale construction method, moreover developed with natural, biodegradable, recyclable and locally found materials, an undeniable interest particularly in this time of economic and environmental crisis.
This material can not be other than soil. The project focuses on the natural properties of soil. Earth, or Soil, as a construction material has been used since Neolithic times. The advantages of an earth – soil structure are primarily related to both the environment and economy, being secure and friendly to our environment. Soil also offers the benefits of natural insulation, fire protection, air circulation, low first cost, 100% recyclable structures, stiffness, great strength, thermal flywheel effect, low green house emissions, regulating the climate and providing a healthy Indoor environment.
The project focuses on the behavior of the soil when mixed with other ingredients, towards a better understanding of the material, and potential composites. The material results obtained through the development of the first phase of this research project are extremely promising a new, more than 96% based in soil, material that has 3 times higher tensile strength from industrial hard clay.
The importance of the material chosen for the research is not related only to the unlimited existing quantity but also to decrease the emerging degree of embodied energy within the fabrication process, transportation hazards and production independent of electricity, fuel availability and green houses effects.
The project is also inspired by one of unbaked soil properties . Soil can be recycled an indefinite number of times over an extremely long period. Old dry loam can be reused after soaking in water, so loam never becomes a waste material that harms the environment.
Architectural installation at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015
Rock Print is the first architectural installation to be built from low-grade granular material and constructed by robotic machines. Conceived as an intriguing vertical object, the installation presents a radically new approach to The State of the Art of Architecture – the official title of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015 – and brings forward a new category of random packed, potentially fully reusable, poly-dispersed jammed structures that can be automatically fabricated in non-standard shapes. Following an initial period of robotic assembly, the installation will comprise a large-scale architectural artefact in its completed form, exhibiting distinct features, such as, for example, full material reversibility and the respective reusability of the aggregated materials; structurally active interlocking, differentiated structural performance, while yielding high geometric flexibility and articulation. Performing a full scale 3D “rock printing process” that uses the self-aggregating capacities of the material itself, this visionary project is the first collaborative installation by Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, and the Self-Assembly Lab, MIT. The Chicago Architecture Biennial will open on 3rd October 2015 and will close on 3rd January 2016.
‘VULCAN’ takes precedent from LCD’s (laboratory for creative design) long term research in the spatial form of cocoons, where we constantly search for suitable methods for 3D printing and its artistic reinterpretations,’ the team explain. ‘in extrapolating the form from the cocoon’s biological parent body, we seek to combine the 3D printing and spatial construction pro-cesses with the activities at the beijing international design week. it will create an open plan ‘parent body’ that can accommodate various activities for the public.’
1,086 different 3D-printed constructive units comprise the eight meter long, nearly three meter tall structure.