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3D Crafts

ETH Zurich Concrete Pillars


Students of the Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture program at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich have built ‘Concrete Choreoraphy,’ an installation of columns made of special concrete with the assistance of computational design tools and 3D-printing robot arms. Thought out to frame and inform dance performances, the mostly hollow columns have organic shapes. In the tradition of biomimetics, their upper segments recall the trunks of ficus plants or baobabs, if not the bones, joints, and tendons of animals, and the bottom parts evoke the legs of elephants. Their texture is likewise pachydermic, made as they are of diminutive, 5-millimeter layers of wrinkled material deposited by the robot arm, with no need to use formworks or molds. Might this just be what the future has in store for construction?

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