Additive Manufacturing With Natural Materials Applied to Large Scale by OTF Students

Last Thursday Open Thesis Fabrication (OTF) students have finally unveiled the outcomes of the six-month postgraduate program, led by IAAC Faculty Edouard Cabay and Alexandre Dubor, which focused this year on the applications of additive manufacturing in the production of sustainable low-cost buildings, printable on site with 100% natural materials.

As a result of this investigation a 3D printed, large-scale, modular wall prototype, realised by using unbaked clay, has been presented IAAC’s Valldaura Self-sufficient Labs to an international jury including RMIT Professor Mark Burry, Executive Architect and Researcher of the Sagrada Familia.

The modules presented were parametrically conceived in order to have an optimum performance depending on solar radiation, wind behavior and structural 3D printing reasoning, both by their own and as a whole design. With the same purpose the whole façade was also conceived as a gradient, in both horizontal and vertical directions, having various radiuses of self-shading.

Each module was designed to incorporate various types of openings, in order to maximize the natural daylight of the wind potential, strategically placed and varying from micro openings to full openings between bricks are light channels.

The infill of the modules was parametrically conceived so that the upper modules consist in a lighter infill, in order to ease the structure. The modules create a concave elevation, which after various solar and wind analysis, both in digital media and in physical prototyping, has been proved as being the optimum shape.