Acadia Features Intricate 3D-Printed Art Pieces
October 23, 2014

Acadia Features Intricate 3D-Printed Art Pieces

MINNEAPOLIS   and REHOVOT,   ISRAEL – Stratasys,   a 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, has collaborated with a prestigious lineup of artists for this year’s ACADIA (the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) conference, held this week in Los Angeles.  

A unique exhibition space at the event includes stunning work from renowned designers, Zaha Hadid, Alvin Huang, Francis Bitonti, Jose Sanchez and Jenny Wu, showcasing intricate 3D printed designs from furniture, fashion and interactive games.

Pushing the boundaries of Stratasys 3D printing technology, the designers have encapsulated their visions for the future of design through the digitally manufactured pieces and created new experiences for the end user. This is explored through the relationships between form and performance, and the design nuances made possible with multi-material and color 3D printing.

Rapid manufacturing is imminent

Zaha Hadid Architects create an on-demand 3D printed chair with Stratasys, using a variety and colors and opacities made possible with the Objet500 Connex3 color, multi-material 3D Printer

Award-winning architect and keynote speaker at the event, Zaha Hadid, has collaborated with Stratasys to create an on-demand 3D printed chair exploring the possibilities of large scale multi-material 3D printing.

3D printing enables exceptional high-resolution physical and digital representations that are changing the process of design and physical production. Zaha Hadid Architects’ starting point was to design a relatively lightweight chair that made use of its geometry, detailing and manufacture to highlight and improve its performance. 

Zaha Hadid Architects chose 3D printing due to its ability to express minute details and complex surfaces allowing structural optimization. The result is a pattern that deploys density and depth relating to the structural performance of each area of the chair, which is highlighted through the Objet500 Connex3 color, multi-material 3D Printer’s ability to print in a variety of colors and opacities.

Also creating furniture for this project is internationally recognized Alvin Huang. The "Durotaxis Chair", refers to the movement of cells guided by the rigidity of a gradient. It is an ovoid rocking chair which has two positions, an upright rocker and a horizontal lounge. It is defined by a densely packed 3D printed wire mesh that utilizes Stratasys' multi-material capabilities, due to its ability to 3D print in gradients of size, scale, density, color, and rigidity. 

Alvin Huang’s Durotaxis Chair is defined by its densely packed 3D printed wire mesh that utilizes Stratasys' multi-material capabilities

“3D printing has great potential to revolutionize the design industry. In the past, the focus has predominantly been on rapid prototyping, but the shift towards rapid manufacturing is imminent,” says Alvin Huang. “In some parts my chair is thicker and more rigid, but thinner and softer where it needs to be; this makes for an optimal relationship between form and performance. Without multi-material 3D printing, the gradient distribution of material properties and performance would be impossible.” 

3D printing: a direct manufacturing tool for the art and fashion world

Inspired by molecules and geometry, Jose Sanchez explores connectivity, patterns and games with “The Polyomino”. This was developed as single units that can then be organized in multiple ways, dependent on the creator, connecting gameplay and making personal creations.

Jose Sanchez’s Stratasys 3D printed assembly combines hundreds of independent units to create a stunning, highly intricate piece

Jose Sanchez explains: “Inspired by games such as Minecraft, where players can build incredible creations within a game environment, 3D printed assembly means that it is possible to combine hundreds of independent units into one. This removes the constraints of traditional manufacturing and what kind of connections the unit could have, allowing a richer space of possibilities and the ability to work with strong, flexible and precise materials.” 

Francis Bitonti’s ‘Molecule’ shoe collection also takes the concept of molecules as small building blocks, which can create complex shapes and products through their interactions when combined on a larger scale. 

Francis Bitonti’s ‘Molecule’ shoes, 3D printed in collaboration with Adobe and using Stratasys’ Objet500 Connex3 Color, Multi-material 3D Printer

“For me, using 3D printing in my work is not a choice, it is part of a design philosophy that is emerging as a new industrial revolution,” expands Bitonti. “As an architect and fashion designer, I was inspired to create something that encapsulates the point where we become connected to our environment, for example the part of a building where it hits the ground, as our foot does in a shoe – this is where the story of an object is told. The unique capabilities of the Objet500 Connex3 combined with features in Adobe’s new software, enabled me to create shoes that are strong enough to walk in by implementing three materials in a single build, as well as color capabilities for a visual impact that can also show the intricacies of the molecules’ interactions.”

For ACADIA 2014, Jenny Wu will be showing her Tangens necklace from her LACE collection, 3D printed using Stratasys technology

Taking inspiration from 15 years’ experience as an architect, Jenny Wu has created the ‘LACE’ collection, which explores the robust complexities and direct manufacturing enabled by Stratasys FDM technology. ‘LACE’ comprises a commercial available line of 3D printed wearable designs including necklaces and rings, inspired by line-based geometry and intricate, organic movement, standing-out as a bold statement on the body. “I enjoy the possibilities that FDM 3D printing technology offers, as the strength of the materials enable me to directly manufacture jewelry pieces as opposed to just prototype,” says Wu. 

Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design for Stratasys, concludes: “We are honored to work with the world renowned office Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and this extraordinary group of architectural and computational designers. We are excited about the exploration of economical and playful use of smart geometries in these five unique designs. The translation of finite element analysis to create a spectacular finished form in the ZHA 3D printed chair, truly depicts the intrinsic aesthetics of digital manufacturing.”

For over 30 years the ACADIA annual international conference has celebrated the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science as well as design creativity, sustainability, and education. This year the theme of ‘Design Agency’ calls for entrants to look at re-defining the term "Agency" through computational design strategies. The event is also enriched by studnt installations, architectural prototypes, publications and curated projects such as the Stratasys exhibition. 

Co-organizer of the event, Dr. David Jason Gerber, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Engineering elaborates on this year’s event: “We are delighted to host an exclusive curated project from Stratasys this year, as the pieces display a variety of intricacies that set the premise for the future of custom manufacturing and design culture.”