An Exhibition showcasing experimental applications of 3D printing in Design/ Build for sub-Saharan Africa.
Open Call/Invitation In 2013 Helen Starr (Mechatronic Library) partnered with the Digital Manufacturing Unit at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Blueprint Magazine to invite architects, designers and artists to design either a shelter for sub-Saharan conditions or an object for use within such a shelter. Both categories could be 3D printed with a solar sintering process, using the sun to power, and lenses to melt the locally abundant raw material; sand. We had hundreds of responses to the competition and chose the 10 best projects, five in each category. We 3D printed the small scale models and presented them for the public to be judge to at our stand at the Design Junction during London Design Festival,18-22 September 2013. Members of the public were invited to vote for their two favourite projects. Winners: Maria Knutsson-Hall was inspired by the way cacti survive in harsh conditions, the Low Evaporating Ceramic Plant Pot separates the water container from the main body of the plant pot to slow down the water evaporation process. Patrick Hamdy & Sam Welham designed The Well of Sychar; this project acts as a water supply for nomads as well as providing a site for its temporary community to visit in times of celebration and most importantly; drought.
We also showcased live 3D printing, as well as some ongoing experiments into large-scale 3D printing and its potential application in architecture even the stand itself was be3D-printed. Also on display on our stand was interface\4i— a large architectural facade prototype byBetatype, that explores structural and optical variability. Using complex structures less than 1mm thick and unique to the SLS processes, the structure deflects and diffracts light into patterns, which show the performance complexity capable through additive manufacturing:
Launch of commission for Exhibition at London Design Week 2013
Speculative 3D printing in the sub-saharan Desert
Thousands of people visited our Blueprint for the Future 3D Printing stand at Design Junction during the London Design Festival and one in seven of all the show’s visitors took the time to vote. In the end more than 3,000 (1 in 5) members of the public took the time to vote on their preferred project. Some £2,000 in prize money was on offered in two categories: architecture and product. The architecture category was won by the joint entry from Patrick Hamdy and Sam Welham, while Maria Knutsson-Hall won the product category. As the solar sintering machine only exists as a near futuristic speculation, the finalists’ designs were produced on a 3D printer in a proprietary plaster/polymer composite material. The designs were exhibited as small scale model of infinite complexity and included designs for desert wells and water storage.
The models themselves were displayed on a wall of 3D-printed sandstone tiles manufactured by manufacturing sponsor VoxelJet. This piece was designed specifically for the exhibit, to highlight the capabilities of 3D printing for architecture and design. The fabrication process allows for each tile to be bespoke, without adding to the cost. These differences in geometry allow for a continuous design concept with subtle variations to the overall piece.Visitors to the stand had the opportunity to assess the entries and vote for their favourite by dropping a counter in the relevant tube.
Technology Support: DMC lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture Voxeljet Megaman Bolan HK 3D printing