The project led by the two innovative architects David Andreen and Ana Goidea at Lund University takes functionality to a new level without compromising on aesthetics.
The project’s ambition is to demonstrate that a building envelope can be made today using 3D sand printing and that the resulting structure could have significant added value over a conventional wall.
Binder Jetting can show the construction industry a way forward to create significant market opportunities for 3D printed buildings that are rich in expression and function and are ecologically sustainable.
The Meristem Wall incorporates the following functions:
- Structural support of self-weight.
- Integrated electricity, light fixtures, and water pipes using industry standard equipment.
- Distributed ventilation system controlling heat storage and internal moisture level.
- Rainwater run-off
- Exterior wall zona that acts as a diverse wildlife habitat.
In order to facilitate the task of removing the unprinted sand from the complex cavities and to make handling and post-processing easier, the wall geometry was split into 24 modular blocks. These blocks were printed thanks to the large-volume 3D printer from voxeljet VX4000, which has a printing volume of 4x2x1 m.
Since the voxeljet Binder Jetting technology was initially developed for metal casting, the printed parts are not designed for end-use applications. And since the Meristem Wall was going to be exhibited at the Biennale in Venice a couple of weeks later, they needed to be stronger and more durable.
SANDHELDEN was able to apply its own developed post-process within 3 days all over the wall, endowing the whole design (with wall thicknesses as filigree as 0,5 mm) with a much higher strength to avoid any breaking during the transport to Venice and to endure long-term stability while being shown.
SANDHELDEN´s post process can be further adjusted based on the requirements of the final product. Weather resistance, UV protection, cleaning regulations, temperature resistance, or even surface roughness and color are characteristics that can be controlled in order to guarantee the final stability and proper use of the 3D printed object.