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Buildings made with a printer

In Tech on April 9, 2011 at 3:37 am

By Kevin Bullis

A novel approach to design and construction could save materials and energy, and create unusually beautiful structures.

In conventional construction, workers piece together buildings from mass-produced, prefabricated bricks, I-beams, concrete columns, plates of glass and so on. Neri Oxman, an architect and a professor at MIT’s Media Lab, intends to print them instead—essentially using concrete, polymers, and other materials in the place of ink. Oxman is developing a new way of designing buildings to take advantage of the flexibility that printing can provide. If she’s successful, her approach could lead to designs that are impossible with today’s construction methods.

Existing 3-D printers, also called rapid prototyping machines, build structures layer by layer. So far these machines have been used mainly to…

Original article…

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