California studio completes first 3D printed architecture

Echoviren-3D-printed-architecture-by-Smith-Allen-8

California studio Smith|Allen has completed the world’s first architectural structure using standard 3D printing technology.

Entitled Echoviren, the pavilion consists of 585 individually printed components produced on seven Series 1 desktop printers by Type A Machines.

The printers took two months and 10,800 hours to print the components, and four days to assemble them on site.

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Each component is made of a plant-based PLA bio-plastic which will cause the structure to decompose over time ranging from 30 to 50 years.

“As it weathers, it will become a micro-habitat for insects, moss and birds,” the architects said.

The structure was built in a redwood forest for Project 387, an arts residency programme in San Francisco.

“The texture [of the structure] is based on a study of the cellular forms of sequoia cells,” Brian Allen of Smith|Allen told architecture blog, Dezeen. “Their structure allows the trees to maintain huge amounts of strength with a minimum volume.”

Allen added: “The overall form is driven by the structural requirements of building in PLA. The section is pyramidal so each of the walls is self supporting. As the structure is completed it becomes a compression structure with the top most layer forming a compression ring.”

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