Rapid Manufacturing and Prototyping with Concrete

Display table demonstrating the tools and outcomes of rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping with concrete

Earthscrapers is an installation for the 2010 Biennial of the Americas that imagines the potential of employing Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) processes in the construction of a proto-architectural landscape—one where the building material source and the building itself are seamless. It also demonstrates the internal design, research and experimentation process by Rael San Fratello Architects in hacking a 3D printer to rapid proto­type and rapid manufacture clays, ceramics and ultimately cement.

A rapid manufactured concrete tower maquette

Mining, desertification, dredging and erosion are a few of the many examples of natural and anthropogenic processes for shaping the landscape and have become the theoretical material sources, sites and contexts for the forms and spaces created.

Full scale wall prototype constructed of rapid manufactured concrete masonry units

Studies, animations, sketches, scale models and full-scale concrete architectural building components, designed primarily with modo, are the result of the open-ended and open-faced investigation. The project also imagines a future scenario for the material and the process as a scalable technology—one that also dissolves the role of the architect and builder—where designer and geomorphologist merge.

Tools, models and powdered material used in the fabrication of Earthscrapers

linear and vertical modularity using rapid manufactured concrete

3D printed concrete form

Project Date: 2010
Project Team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, John Faichney, Maricela Chan, Chris DeHenzel & Emily Licht
Project Info: Earthscrapers was made possible with a grant from 2010 Biennial of the Americas and is on display as part of the exhibit The Nature of Things from July 1, 2010 through August 1, 2010 at the McNichols Building at Civic Center Park, Denver, CO. Special thanks to Ehren Tool, Professor Richard Shaw, Professor Dr. Mark Ganter at the Solheim RP/RM Lab, Pax at MediumVFX and Luxology. 1, 2, 3

5 Responses to “Rapid Manufacturing and Prototyping with Concrete”

  1. [...] Earthscrapers: Rapid Manufacturing and Prototyping with Concrete will be on display in the Wurster Gallery, located in Wurster Hall at the University of California at Berkeley October 4–November 5, 2010. The exhibit will feature a presentation of the tools and outcomes of rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping by hacking a 3D printer to use clays, ceramics, and cement. For more information visit: http://www.rael-sanfratello.com/?p=916 [...]

  2. [...] Yield:  A fun time exploring new materials, helping others present their work,  innovate for 3dp efficiency, design and fabricate, casting of all sorts, education and training, co-working with rapid prototyping, and with the right combinations of design and off-road powder and binder, printing really big stuff. [...]

  3. [...] a 3D printer to print in these materials. Through research with the University of Berkeley, their Earthscrapers installation for the 2010 Biennial of the Americas contained a broad range of prototypes that [...]

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