Architect Designs First 3D Printing Element for Construction Use

Association of Construction & Development
December 4, 2013 — 1,637 views  

Adrian Priestman, a British architect, is claiming to have installed as well as designed the first very 3D printed components that are to be approved by the construction industry. Priestman said at a recent event that this is for the first time that 3D nylon sintered technology is being applied in architecture.

The use of 3D printed products is getting quite common in many industries. It is being used in almost every area, be it weaponry or fashion. At such times, Priestman has come out with the use of this technology in construction industry and is waiting for its approval.

Use of 3D Printed Building Component for First Time

He has made use of a 3D nylon product for creating a decorative sheath which he made for a roof canopy of the refurbished office building of 6 Bevis Marks in central London. The sheath that has been designed by Priestman gets support for itself with a series of arms and joints that hold it. These components were made to go through rigorous environmental testing and trials before they were included in the roof warranty.  It is being said that this is the first time that any sort of 3D material is being used for building a structure. All this while it was being used in the field of architecture as a component of modeling which would be used for designing models.

The casings that he has deigned respond to the distinct nature of every intersection and have been modeled with the help of 3D computer software. After that they were printed in units with the use of a selective laser sintering method. Priestman said that this is more of a decorative finish that makes it look like a cast node.

Many Possibilities for the Future

The architect revealed that presently, he is working with the innovation team of Skanska to come up with other potential uses of 3D printing for the building and construction industry. He mentioned that he has started looking for new areas to use this technology.

When asked whether any other kind of 3D printed building components have been approved currently for use in construction industry, he said that he is not aware of anything as such. He further mentioned that offices of major architects of Foster + Partner do have 3D printing machines but they are just being used for making modeling tools and not for making any building components.

Association of Construction & Development