To celebrate the opening of our 4th annual A+Awards, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite projects from 2015. Want to get in on the action? Check out the A+Awards page to find out how to enter.
3D-printing technology is revolutionizing the way product designers imagine and realize their ideas. Unlike traditional print-and-ink printers, 3D machines print the material layer-by-layer until the entire model is complete. They can work with a variety of materials, from chocolate to plastic to human tissue.
Architects have used this successive layering process to create scale models for years. As the technology has improved, more designers are recognizing the creative possibilities this exciting new medium has to offer. Anything users can create on a computer can be produced as a 3D object with remarkable digital precision. Not to mention the process is far less labor intensive, time consuming, and costly than traditional manufacturing methods.
The artistic merits of 3D-printed objects have been recognized by prominent museums, curators, and artists. The Victoria & Albert Museum acquired a 3D-printed table, MoMA added a 3D-printed dress to its galleries; the BOZAR in Brussels even dedicated an entire exhibition to 3D-printed works. As institutions celebrate these pieces, 3D-printed objects become part of the larger artistic canon.
In recognition of this growing field, we’ve added a new category to the upcoming Fourth Annual A+ Awards: 3D Printing. The following collection brings together some of the best 3D-printed objects made in a variety of materials.
This sculptural, 3D-printed vase is made of two separate forms that fit together. Its gradually perforated surface and curving design add visual interest to the piece.
Designed for Mars, this multi-layered, 3D-printed structure is designed for the Martian climate. The ice house is meant to take advantage of the planet's abundance of water and low temperatures. Inside the pressurized radiation shell, astronauts find a small garden and habitable environment.
The designers at Planetary ONE used 3D-printing techniques to create an incredibly detailed model. Made for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a post-industrial site off of New York's East River, the viewer can imagine what the project will look like.
Using a new process to recreate a traditional building technique — layered bricks — Building Bytes created several models of ceramic bricks. The precise, computerized design make these bricks easy to layer and use.
Made out of 94 unique plastic modules, or “bytes,” this pavilion harnesses solar power to give off light. The form is designed around the sun's path, allowing each LED module to harvest light during the day. At night, the stored energy is used, creating a beautiful lit-up archway. The project is meant to create public awareness of environmentally friendly energy sources.
Designed by Dror, this collapsible cube form is made up of many interlocking squares. When illuminated from the inside, the complex design comes to light.