May 24, 2017

WATG Urban Architecture Studio designs the world's first freeform 3D printed house

In a challenge commissioned by Branch Technology, architecture studios and universities around the world have been invited to design a new kind of single-family home that "rethinks traditional architectural aesthetics, ergonomics, construction, building systems, and structure from the ground up”, with the ambition of liberating design and creating without limitation.

To achieve this goal, BT patented a tehnology called Cellular Fabrication, a multi-layered printing system that creates the complexity of a cellular construct. "Composite structures are created using the same methodology with which nature builds. Like bones in our body or trees in the forest, optimized geometries are made strong and functional by the material filling the matrix. The interior and exterior skins can then be finished in any fashion."

Video: Branch Technology

At the core of Cellular Fabrication is Branch Technology's patented freeform 3D printing process, mechanism that is not constrained by the slow, layer-by-layer build process of traditional 3D printers. Their algorithm creates both the geometry and robotic motion to construct complex shapes in open space, without the use of support materials of highly controlled build environments, like build plates or full temperature-controlling enclosures.

Architectural studio WATG and its Chicago-based team, consisting of Daniel Caven, Chris Hurst, Miguel Alvarez and Brent Watanabe, ultimately undertook the challende and won with their "Curve Appeal" design, idea that already won first prize in the Freeform Home design Challenge, a competition to design the world's first freeform 3D printed house.


Images: Branch Technology

Speaking of the design, Branch Technology founder, Platt Boys, said: “Curve Appeal is a very thoughtful approach to the design of our first house. It responds well to the site conditions, magnifies the possibilities of cellular fabrication and pushes the envelope of what is possible while still utilising more economical methods for conventional building systems integration.”

The Curve Appeal house is beginning planning phases in Chattanooga, Tennesseee at Branch Technology's lab and is expected to begin 3D printing this year.

Images: Branch Technology