Functional Space Frame
3D PRINTING ARCHITECTURE: TOWARDS FUNCTIONAL SPACE
FELIX RASPALL1 and CARLOS BANON2
In architecture, the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies has been primarily limited to the production of scale models. Its application for functional buildings components has been typically undermined by the long production time, elevated cost to manufacture parts and the low mechanical properties of 3D printed components.
As AM becomes faster, cheaper and stronger, opportunities for architectures that make creative use of AM to produce functional architectural pieces are emerging. In this paper by Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon, authors propose and discuss the application of AM in complex space frames and the theoretical and practical implications.
Three built projects by the authors support their hypothesis that AM has a clear application in architecture and that space frames constitutes a promising structural typology. In addition, they investigate how AM can be used to resolve architectural systems beyond structure and enclosure, such as data and power transmission.
The paper presents background research and contribution to the digital design tools, the manufacturing and assembly processes, and the analysis of the performances of the building components and the final built pieces.