Bringing classical architecture back with 3D printing

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EDG, a New
York city based architectural design studio, is using 3D
printing to restore and recreate intricate details in historic
architecture.

Render of a facade produced with 3D printing. Image via EDG.Render of a facade
produced with 3D printing. Image via EDG.

Classical style, 3D printed

Inspired by the slated demolition of a historical
building on New York’s Fifth Avenue, EDG began planning
financially viable ways to restore other old buildings.


Speaking to Designboom
, EDG said “Facade
ornamentation in the classical style remains impossible to
produce by current means. Architectural hand sculpting would be
an exorbitant luxury if not also a lost art, laser cutting
remains prohibitively expensive, and precast concrete is
creatively limiting.”

3D printing solid architectural parts remains cost and
time prohibitive. Instead, EDG uses 3D printed plastic molds to
produce architectural features on site, within a day. 3D
scanning old parts allows the company to create molds for even
the most intricate parts, including Corinthian columns,
colonnades, cornices and whole facades.

The UK architecture firm
Arup
worked with Italian architecture
firm
CLS
Architetti
to produce a
concrete 3D printed house
using a
CyBe 3D
printing arm, as part of Milan Design Week. The
project had more utilitarian goals, featuring minimal
ornamentation, compared to the handcrafted detail sought by
EDG.

EDG director Richard Unterthiner said the company
“strongly believes in this historically rich architectural
language, which everyone loves, but has forgotten how to
speak”

A mold 3D printed by
EDG, to produce the column on the right. Photos via EGD.

Preserving cultural heritage, constructing the homes
of the future

3D printing has also been used to preserve the cultural
heritage of archaeological sites in Syria, following bombing by
ISIS. The
Dubai Future
Foundation

3D printed some of the destroyed
artifacts
, and displayed them at the “Spirit
in the Stone” digital archaeology exhibition at the United
Nations’ New York headquarters.

Spain’s first 3D printed house has been constructed
by
Be More
3D
, a 3D printing construction startup, on the
campus of the
Technical University
of Valencia
. According to the company, the
single-storey house was 3D printed in around 12 hours and used
robot arms similar to those used by Arup and CLS
Architetti.

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Featured image shows a render of a facade produced
with 3D printing. Image via EDG.

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