Combining a traditional building material (ceramics) with a new fabrication technique (3D printing) to re-think an ancient building component (bricks), this project demonstrates how 3D printers can become portable, inexpensive brick factories for large-scale construction. Bricks are an ancient building component and their fabrication has seen several innovations throughout history; however it has consistently relied on a system of molds or extrusions that produce the same shape hundreds, or thousands, of times. This project is an exploration of a new fabrication tool for bricks: desktop 3D printers. This technique does not rely on molds, but rather prints each brick individually, allowing users to fabricate complex forms within which each brick can be unique.
Four brick applications were tested: 1) columns and towers, 2) domes of interlocking bricks, 3) vertical tiling, 4) modular honeycomb stackable bricks. This research aimed to test the system with two fabrication styles: uniformity (the same brick printed multiple times) and variation (unique bricks that create a form).
MATAERIAL is the result of the collaborative research between Petr Novikov, Saša Jokić from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. IAAC tutors representing Open Thesis Fabrication Program provided their advice and professional expertise. During the course of the research we developed a brand new digital fabrication method and a working prototype that can open a door to a number of practical applications. The method that we call Anti·gravity Object Modeling has a Patent-Pending status.
Join Photizo Group Research Manager Scott Dunham as he details the future of desktop and personal 3D printers, presenting new data and analysis from the recent 2014 Desktop & Consumer 3D Printing Market Size, Share and Forecast report, and examines the inherent interconnectedness between low cost printers and professional additive manufacturing systems.