Radiolaria Pavilion

Andrea Morgante, founder of Shiro Studio, collaborated with D-Shape in 2008 to produce the Radiolaria pavilion, a free-form structure created using the world’s largest 3D printer. Measuring 3 x 3 x 3 metres, the structure is a scale model of a final 10 metre tall pavilion currently being fabricated in Pontedera, Italy. The aim of the Radiolaria pavilion was to demonstrate the capabilities of this pioneering construction technology through complex geometry. It allows free-form construction of monolithic structures on a large scale.

Ernst Haeckel’s studies on radiolarians were a source of inspiration; their evolutionary formation process of mineral and siliceous skeletons share an affinity with the way that the mega-printer operates, through the slow deposition of mineral and siliceous material, layer after layer.

The thin layers of the structure are held together by an inorganic binder, which transforms any kind of sand or marble dust into a stone-like material (i.e. a mineral with microcrystalline characteristics) with a resistance and traction superior to portland cement, to a point where there is no need to use iron to reinforce the structure.  The structure was designed using CAD/CAM software and then exported directly to the printer. Once printed, it only takes about 24 hours for the material to fully set. The process is also environmentally sound, if any of the building material remains unused, it can be recycled.

Above: Radiolaria Pavilion Printed scale model sandstone structure

Above: 3D Printer – Individual layers of sandstone being printed to form pavilion

Marc Burry, the Sagrada Familia and the SG11 Sound Responsive Wall

Marc Burry  is an Architect from New Zealand, currently Professor of Innovation and Director of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory at RMIT University (SIAL), Melbourne, Australia.

He is also Executive Architect and Researcher at the Temple Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Catalonia,Spain.

His team’s digital explorations of Gaudi’s models which principles are described as “Associative Geometry”, have been a great inspiration. Here are some pages from my third year portfolio on the four Hyperbolic Paraboloids (hypar) which shape each columns of the “triforium gallery” at the Sagrada Familia:

Marc Burry’s cluster at the last Smart Geometry event in Copenhagen produced the great work below based on Gaudi’s technique linked to Grasshopper.


Above: Using sound waves as agent


Above: Using Gaudi’s Technique to build a cone !  


SG Crew:
Xavier De Kestelier, Jonathan Rabagliati, Josh Mason, Hugo Mulder, Shane M Burger, Hugh Whitehead

Adam Laskowitz, Ben Coorey, Eric Turkiemicz, Giovanni Betti, Kathy Yuen, Ralf Lindemann, Robin Bentley, Thomas Hay

Cluster Leaders:
Phil Ayres, Mark Burry, Jane Burry, Daniel Davis, John Klein, Alexander Peña de Leon, Brady Peters

Tobias Olesen

Mette Thomsen, Martin Tamke, Annica Ekdahl, Stig Nielsen, Shop Crew

Additional Support:
Chris Williams, Robert Woodbury, Peter Holmes, Brad Marmion,  Koi Khoo, RMIT & SIAL

Alternative fabrication methods using sand

Following on from the tutorial yesterday where Jack talked about possibly casting his experiments with sand using a saline solution sprayed onto the forms created here are two further ways of utilising sand to create rigid structures.

Markus Kayser - Solar Sinter

The first is a 3D printer which concentrates the solar energy to form glass structures from the sand the machine sits on. I know many of you have seen this before but I thought I’d post it in relation to this specific topic. The link is to designboom, a great website with daily updates from the latest innovations in architecture, art and design. Check out the link to find further information on Markus Kayser’s printer.

The second is a TED lecture given by Magnus Larsson. He proposes an ambitious project to stop desertification in the Sahara by literally forming a wall across the continent using the desert sands as a bulding material.

If anyone wants to edit this post to try and embed the video from the TED lecture go ahead, I can’t get it to work with their f=video format but that may just be me.

Arduino website

This is the arduino website where you can find very useful information on what an arduino can do, and how to use it. You can download the processing sotfware for free and browse and post comments and questions on the forum. 

This is the fritzing website, which is a sotfware that helps you design your circuit, share information and learn about interactivity

Andrew Kudless: P-Wall

Andrew Kudless (a.k.a. Matsys) demonstrates the parametric  techniques used to design the P-Wall and the building techniques used to actually physically create it. The project as such and especially it’s form might be interesting to anyone who is fascinated by Frei Otto’s pneumatic structures.

Photograph of the P-Wall taken from the MATSYS website

AA Make Lab at Hooke Park

The videos are from the workshop I attended in April. This particular video shows Michael Grau’s robot, which basically draws the intersection points along a wooden member as slashes in the right or left direction and writes a code consisting of a number and a letter, so later on when it came down to putting the structure together we knew exactly where and what direction to put the wooden members in. Time was running out so we used cable ties for both constructions. The final structure is a very organic form.

The  second construction was created by studying people and their movements on the site at Hooke park, the movements were  3d scanned using a hacked Kinect Xbox (acted as a motion sensor), then points were generated in Rhino to form a point cloud model. The points were joined together with lines forming a voronoi (a volume,form). We then used a robot which took the coordinates of each member from the computer and translated these to the space in the forest, it moved within the perimeter of the site and told us where to position each wooden member, so we cut the wood as we went along and connected each member with  an eyehook and a cable tie. Sometimes additional support was required that the computer did not account for, so we just added these. Also in the organic form the material used was not flexible enough to create the rounded shapes, as a result the structure kept breaking in sections and we had to add additional supports.

If we had more time it would have been ideal to test different types of material.