It’s actually happening now – architects and engineers have developed a way to print a structure. And not just a structure, but a structure that can grow. The architects and developers at Softkill Design are behind this incredible new invention, and have devised a 3D printing technique whereby the printed material grows through the same process as bones grow.
As sci-fi as it may seem, the design agency created a computer algorithm project called ProtoHouse, with the aim of pushing the boundaries of 3D printing. The process causes the printer to create fibrous 3D material that can be grown and molded into shapes that mimic web-like structures.
ProtoHouse is made up of 31 separate pieces that can only be printed on the largest 3D printer available. Each piece is designed to fit into one another, so there is no need for adhesives to bind them. The concept was developed as a model for creating life-size structures that could be printed off site, trucked in and assembled on site.
The concept offers a lightweight and optimized solution for 3D printable houses. As a web-like structure, however, it is not weatherproof. The next step then, for Softkill Design, is to develop 3D printed curtains that act as a weatherproofing and protection mechanism. Perhaps soon the company will be able to offer 3D-printed homes!
Image courtesy of Future of Fashion.