Seat Slug

The Seat Slug

Unique, one-of-a-kind building components, generated quickly and economically from advanced 3-dimensional modeling software – until now this promise of 3D printing was unfulfilled. Conventional 3D printing served as an expensive prototyping process, important as a design tool but falling short in production. However, this year the San Francisco Bay Area firm Rael San Fratello Architects has initiated a fundamental shift.

3D printed concrete components

Through research Assistant Professor Ronald Rael conducts at the University of California Berkeley, the firm has developed a cement-based polymer and a new process that,for the first time, employs conventional rapid prototyping hardware to produce strong and durable building components that cost far less than conventional rapid prototyping materials—up to 90% less than comparable powder printing materials. The material can also reach strengths of up to 4,700psi in compression. This advancement in material output from digital modeling software ushers in a new era in building materials, and a new synthesis of design and production.

 

Project rendering

The SeatSlug, a biomorphic interpretation of a bench, demonstrates how this new digital output process generates end-product structural building components directly from 3D software models. The design is inspired by flabellina goddardi, the newest species of sea slugs discovered in California in 2010, and by the infinite tessellations of Japanese karakusa patterns. It is constructed of 230 unique rapid-manufactured components.

"Skinned" slug showing the unfolded components

The sinuous form, subtle translucency and glossy finish engage viewers with a memorable aesthetic experience—a tactile personal encounter with a technological breakthrough.

Composite drawing

Project Date: 2011
Project Location: San Francisco, CA
Design Team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Emily Licht, Nick Buccelli, Kent Wilson.
Project Information: Rael San Fratello Architects thanks the following individuals and organizations for their knowledge, support and assistance: Dr. Mark Ganter (Solheim Additive Manufacturing  Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department on the University of Washington), Artist Ehren Tool, Professor Richard Shaw (Berkeley), The Department of Art Practice at The University of California Berkeley, The Hellman Family Fund, Professor Claudia Ostertag (Berkeley), Luxology.

8 Responses to “Seat Slug”

  1. Seat Slug says:

    [...] interesting, please go over to the RAEL SAN FRATELLO ARCHITECTS website and check out the “Seat Slug“.   The Slug is composed of over 200+ 3D powder printed parts which were post processed and [...]

  2. [...] the role of the architect and builder” This has led to their most recent design, titled Seat Slug, in which the firm developed a cement-based polymer and a new process that efficiently and [...]

  3. [...] rael-sanfratello] Posté le 25.10.11 par spasmody |partager Mots-clefs :Flabellina Goddardi, impression 3D, [...]

  4. [...] need to be able to learn without racking up huge bills), for one-use foundry molds, and for large objects (which with Z Corporation powders would run quickly into the tens of thousands of dollars).   Z [...]

  5. [...] The Seat Slug is featured in December issue of l’Arca. The issue is guest edited by Richard Meyer with a focus on texture. [...]

  6. [...] The Seat Slug pieces were printed using a cement-based polymer. How was that material developed and what other [...]

  7. [...] The Seat Slug pieces were printed using a cement-based polymer. How was that material developed and what other [...]

  8. [...] San Francisco Bay Area firm Rael San Fratello Architects has initiated a fundamental shift…continua Posted in makers Tagged autoproduzione, design, design artigianale, designer, sanfratello, [...]