Site-specific 3-D adaptable printer and e-chaise lounge


News Brief: 3-D Printed Houses Are Closer Than You Think

August 15, 2018

Pictured: The site-specific adaptable 3-D printer can be packed up and taken anywhere. Its adaptable design allows it to be used inside or outside opening the door to a host of possibilities: 3-D printed houses, furniture, and more. The e-chaise lounge, above, was built with the site-specific adaptable 3-D printer. Designed by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, Gabriel Munnich, Yaoyi Fan, Pablo Toubes-Reiger, Nelson Montas, Zhiyi Cheng, Yilan Dong, and ADG Engineering.

Imagine you can construct a house using a 3-D printer.

With the site-specific adaptable 3-D printer you just might. The printer is designed by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, associate professor in NYIT School of Architecture and Design, and a team of architects at e(eiroa)-Architects.

The unique aspect about the printer is that it does not depend on an external structure in order to use it. And unlike traditional 3-D printers, this one can go anywhere.

“It is a mobile structure and can be adapted to many circumstances and conditions,” said Lorenzo-Eiroa. “Since it [is built] with cables and engines that can be attached to an existing condition and operate, it can be packed into a portable suitcase.” Which is what he did when he took it to Venice where it is on display at the Time-Space-Existence exhibit during the Venice Architecture Biennale.

The site-specific adaptable 3-D printer features a flexible tensegrity structure with a robotic cable-driven mechanism that prints through an extendable arm reaching all locations inside its range.

Because it can be easily adapted, the possibilities are virtually endless. “Our [printer] can be used anywhere—inside, outside—and it can be used to build furniture and buildings like houses and even larger party wall buildings,” explained Lorenzo-Eiroa.

For the exhibit in Venice, he constructed an e-chaise lounge chair. To build it, he first used a 3-D scanner. This allows the chair to be custom-built to any body.

“The overall idea was to develop a fully comprehensive process in which the chair design adapts to the specifics of a person and then material parameters are programmed to react to the heat of the body and deform accordingly, offering more comfort and another time-based dimension in the design or a 4-D print,” said Lorenzo-Eiroa.

The site-specific adaptable 3-D printer and e-chaise lounge are on display through November 2018 at the Palazzo Bembo during the Venice Architecture Biennale.