Just two days ago I posted the news of 3D printed up-scale housing in Texas and now I stumbled onto the news of another, although quite different, use of 3D printing to build houses. In this case it is Mask Architects, a young architectural design firm based in Sardinia, Italy, and Istanbul, Turkey, that is using 3D printed steel exoskeleton as support structure for small homes that have been built on a hill slope near Orani in Sardinia. The location was chosen because of its proximity to the Sardinia’s National Museum hosting the sculture masterpieces of Costantino Nivola from whom they draw inspiration for the homes architecture.
As you can appreciate in the video clip below, Mask Architects explore new shapes of building that make them to be perceived like scultures, pieces of art. This calls for the application of new construction technologies supporting the kind of shapes they want to create.
For one of their latest projects, the construction of a residential complex on the slopes of a hill in Sardinia, they turned to 3D printing of steel. That allowed them to create amazing shapes with steel, using it as a structural exoskeleton for the houses and supporting the construction inside. The shapes have drawn inspiration from a travertine sculpture, La Madre, of Nivola, that can be seen in the nearby Sardinian’s National Museum.
Indeed, one of the advantages of 3D printing is the possibility to build objects bottom-up creating forms and structures that would not be possible with forging, casting and stamping. This is why GE and Boeing are using 3D printing for the blades of engines and turbines. They can get the exact shape desired, with lower weight and increased structural strength.
Additive manufacturing (3D printing) keeps expanding and we are going to see many applications in this decade.