World’s First 3D Printed Architectural Structure

Deep inside a 150-acre redwood forest in California, the world’s first 3D printed architectural structure has taken form.

3d printing, architecture, forest, environment, nature, modularCreated by Smith|Allen Studio, an Oakland based architecture firm, the 10ft x 10ft x 8ft form adds a decidedly artificial element to the otherwise organic forest it calls home. However, despite its appearance, the Echoviren is quite environmentally friendly.Printed from a PLA bioplastic, the structure will naturally decompose back into the forest in 30-50 years.  According to Smith|Allen “”As [Echoviren] weathers it will become a micro-habitat for insects, moss, and birds.”

To create Echoviren, Smith|Allen employed 7 3D printers running non-stop for 2 months. During this time each of the 500 unique pieces of the structure were printed so they could be snapped together, ultimately forming the modern monolith.  Given the modular design, Smith|Allen were able to piece together Echoviren in 4 days, a remarkable timeline given that it took a total of 10,800 print hours to create!

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